All photos:  (c) Elena Galey-Pride

Blog:  Ink Blots on Winestains


Window of Opportunity

There is something to be said for being in the right place at the right time. But I think like Matthew Quick in The Silver Linings Playbook: “Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to signs. When life reaches out with a moment like this, it's a sin if you don't reach back... I'm telling you.”

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I've been keeping a secret ...

Rick VanSickle unwittingly put me in a very difficult position. When he called me in early December, it was just to brainstorm about ideas for taking the lead photo for his "Most Thrilling Wines" annual Wines in Niagara blog post. Rick always picks his Top White and Top Red wines of the year, and ably takes the photo of the two bottles himself. But for 2017, Rick chose ALL the Pinot Noirs from the Lowrey Vineyard from 2014 and thereby created a bit of a challenge for himself. Now he had to fit all five reds along with the one white in one photo. I suggested a lineup to present them on even footing, and when Rick was concerned about the width of the shot, I offered to shoot it for him. 

So last week I arrived at Rick's house and the full extent of my challenge became clear. I was now privy to the six wines on which Rick had bestowed his annual top honours, and I was going to have to keep my mouth shut for nine whole days! I know all these winemakers and many are good friends, so spilling the beans would have been easy. But I persevered and let Rick do the unveiling today. Luckily a little thing like Christmas distracted me along the way! 

So here's the image I shot, using Rick's gorgeous harvest table and delightful Christmas tree as our backdrop.

Congratulations to Bachelder for making the list twice - top white for their Bachelder Wismer Vineyard #1 Wingfield Block Chardonnay 2013 and shared top red honours for their Bachelder Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir Old Vines 2014! Kudos also to Leaning Post for Leaning Post Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014Fielding Estate Winery for Fielding Estate Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014, and Adamo Estate Winery for Adamo Estate Winery Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014. And a special shout-out to the Lowrey family of Five Rows Craft Wines for not only making a delightful wine themselves (Five Rows Craft Wine Pinot Noir 2014) but for growing the Pinot Noir so everyone else could shine! 

Read Rick VanSickle's piece for more of the Lowrey story (including the Karl Kaiser connection) and for his other year-end lists too:

~ The 10 Most Thrilling Niagara Red and White wines of 2017

~ The 10 Most Thrilling Sweet and Bubbly Wines

~ The 10 Most Exciting Canadian Wines Not From Niagara


Text message from Mary Delaney of Bachelder Wines




Fall headlong into your talents

My friend Erin Wilson penned these thought-provoking words following the death of Prince a year ago. They continue to inspire me every day. 

Make something. Fall headlong into your talents and master the things you love most. Practice again and again. Create—from your own heart and mind. Invest in your own creativity. Spend time alone, refining and polishing, again and again.

By all means buy Purple Rain and listen to it on repeat. But if Prince's work leaves you a consumer of someone else's work instead of a maker, you missed the point."

I added some photos from a recent afternoon visit to Good Earth Food & Wine in Beamsville, Ontario and created a Steller story. I created - from my own heart and mind. Thanks Erin. 


Steller success! 

First used over a year ago, I have recently been reminded how much I enjoy creating Steller stories. Last week, I used the app to present my winter visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake. And now, I've just added a new Steller on Central Park to my collection, and it seems to have struck a chord. Over 11,000 views todate, and 280+ likes! 

I'd love your opinion. 





A poem to Niagara-on-the-Lake

The Lake Ontario waterfront on a bitterly cold day in March is an unlikely place to be struck with thoughts of summer. Or is it? Here's my poem - some call it an "ode" - to Niagara-on-the-Lake, in words and images.  View my Steller story.