Author Archives: W John Switzer

About W John Switzer

I am wine writer, educator and tour guide. From 2005 to June 2014 I published a bi-weekly newsletter, the Winesights Vintages Newsletter (WVN). This Newsletter was closed in July 2014 when the Government of Canada put in place the onerous administrative requirements of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation. The legacy of WVN continues on this blog spot where I post wine-related articles as well as reviews of a small selection of best-value wines from each bi-weekly LCBO Vintages release. I hold the WSET Diploma, I am a WSET Certified Educator, I teach in the WSET program at the Independent Wine Education Guild in Toronto where I am the past Director of the WSET Diploma program. Since 2010 I have been a judge at Decanter World Wine Awards on the Rhône panel and I am a member of the Society of Wine Educators.

LCBO Vintages release – July 23, 2016 (WVN 242)

This weekend’s best-value selections represent an eclectic cross-section of Old- and New World wines. Nice. New Zealand, Marlborough – Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Gris 2015 I think the Marlborough zone of the South Island suffers an unfortunate, narrow identity … Continue reading

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The twenty-minute rule

In the last posting of Vintages release tasting notes (WVN 241) I referred to the practice of serving red wines in a slightly chilled state. This requires some explanation… In the Old World it was always the practice to serve … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – July 9, 2016 (WVN 241)

This weekend’s Vintages release anticipates the upcoming International Cool-Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) with a number of Chardonnays from around the world on offer.  One, from Niagara, makes my list. For details on i4C go to http://www.coolchardonnay.org/. Ontario, Niagara – VQA … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – June 25, 2016 (WVN 240)

We have some exceptional wines in this weekend’s Vintages release, not one of them sourced from bulk suppliers. Ontario, Niagara – VQA Beamsville Bench Cave Spring Vineyard Estate Bottled Gewürztraminer 2013 Here we have another winner from Cave Spring – … Continue reading

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And the winner is… !!

One of the most celebrated value wines over the past week is a Malbec bottled for Asda, a Wal-Mart subsidiary in the United Kingdom, sourced from a Chilean bulk wine supplier. The wine, La Moneda Malbec Reserva 2015, won a … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – June 11, 2016 (WVN 239)

Every two weeks, rain or shine, we have another release from the LCBO Vintages team.  The folks at Vintages do a good job as buyers, matching wines to the season, and this week’s release (and my selections, more specifically) is … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – May 28, 2016 (WVN 238)

This weekend’s value selections are more geographically diverse than the last time around. I hope you will agree that there is a fine summer wines character to the selection, wines which will please. There is one wine that I always … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – May 14, 2016 (WVN 237)

This weekend’s WVN selection is different in a couple of ways. First, it is an all-French selection.  There is no purposeful  reason for this other than the five wines I have selected are far and away the best values in … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – April 30, 2016 (WVN 236)

If there is one piece of good news I can report out of this weekend’s release it is spring has arrived! Or, at least, the first Rosé wines of the season have arrived. The LCBO has never been too keen … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – April 16, 2016 (WVN 235)

Spring has sprung – for a couple of days at least. For the wine lover this brings on visions of strawberry-laden rosés and crisp, light whites. Unfortunately, as the LCBO takes a cautious approach in its buying practices we have … Continue reading

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