I have never met anyone else who has heard about the grape camp ["A list of wine gifts, checked twice" by Elizabeth Downer, Food & Flavor, Dec. 12]. I had been looking for a unique travel experience to mark my husband's 45th birthday and had done a lot of research on wine-related trips. My husband is a wine collector and self-professed foodie, so two years ago I surprised him with a trip (for both of us!) to the Sonoma County Grape Camp. It was an amazing experience -- from the harvest to blending our own wine. Some of the locales we visited were not open to the public, and so they were truly unique experiences. The food-pairing meals were delicious and we didn't have one complaint about the entire trip (which is unusual for us!).
JENNIFER POLLER, Squirrel Hill
Thank you so much for a very realistic view of how the wonderful and exciting holidays are for the host/meal preparer ["Recipe for a ready-made holiday" by Arlene Burnett, Food & Flavor, Nov. 14]. I am tired of magazine articles with recipes serving eight and a lot of last-minute preparations. What imaginary kingdom do these people live in? It is also important to me to spend time with my visitors, yet get a meal on the table with a minimum of apparent fuss.
I would like to see you do a similar article for Christmas -- perhaps solicit ideas and recipes from those of us who serve 20 or more for a holiday dinner. Each year, my husband and I do a sit-down, everyone-at-one-table dinner for about 20, have house guests including small children, have additional family visitors from out of town, have family members who must have a gluten-free diet, have one ordinary stove, have no cleaning or other type of household help, and live in a townhouse. I will be glad to share my recipes and tips for making it work but would love to get such from others doing the same kind of holiday dinner.
IRENE DINNING, Aleppo
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