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 – October 1, 2016 (WVN 247)

This week’s Vintages selection is notable for a high number of high quality, pricy wines that don’t make the grade when it comes to value.  As a result, I haven’t been able to find my standard of 5 value wines … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – September 17, 2016 (WVN 246)

Prices for this weekend’s selections are higher than normal but from time to time we find exceptional values priced above my informal $20.00 per bottle value-ceiling.  I firmly believe you don’t need to spend a lot of money to find … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – September 3, 2016 (WVN 245)

This weekend’s value selections feature some diverse, interesting wines that are all well-priced.  There are a couple of keepers that will evolve nicely with some time in cellar. Ontario, Niagara – VQA Beamsville Bench Cave Spring Vineyard Estate Bottled Gewürztraminer … Continue reading

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General List Mixed case reviews – late summer 2016

In the past I written tasting notes in the early summer to celebrate the General List wines readers will find in their local LCBO stores in cottage country. It’s been a while since I have conducted such a review of … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – August 20, 2016 WVN 244)

This weekend all our best-value selections will serve well at late summer lunches or dinners.  The following five wines each has wonderful character and elevated acidity.  In other words, this is a collection of fine, food-friendly wines. Ontario, Niagara – … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – August 6, 2016 (WVN 243)

Distribution update! For the first time in many years rumblings of change are gaining momentum in the Canadian wine industry. For Ontarians the last notable change was when stores opened their back-room stocks to self-serve displays. The first self-serve store … Continue reading

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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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