Off the Vine
My congratulations to Bruce Schoenfeld on his report ["Wine-Lover's Guide: 5 Regions to Visit Now," July]. Wine tasting is a hobby of mine, and I have been to three of the regions in Schoenfeld's article—Chile, Virginia, and New Zealand. He gets to the heart of each of these destinations by highlighting lesser-known producers, and his useful commentary on the local villages hits the bull's-eye. Schoenfeld accurately describes man's awe-inspiring ability to create memorable wines of distinction.—Leonard Bloom, Sarasota, Fla.
I beg to differ with Bruce Schoenfeld ["Wine-Lover's Guide," July] when he states that Chile is "historically not much of a wine-producing country.," On the contrary, grapevines were first planted in northern Chile in the 16th century and were exported to Europe starting in 1877. On a personal note, I owned a wine store in Oregon and sold (and enjoyed!) Chilean wines throughout the 1980's.—David Hall, Neahkahnie, Oreg.
Writer's Response While Mr. Hall is correct that Chile has been producing small amounts of wine for decades, its per capita numbers ranked nowhere near those of the world's leaders. Only recently have growers started planting in volume on mountain slopes and other cooler areas with the idea of producing top-quality wines. That's paying off now with far better wines than ever before.
Back to Bermuda
My husband and I have been to Bermuda over a dozen times, and we know the island well. Annie Schlechter's photography for the June article ["In the Pink"] took us back there for a moment. She perfectly captured the pink sand and the rich blues of the ocean. Bermuda is a wonderful destination for families and groups of friends. The beaches are easy to access, and you can ride scooters all over the island. (Just make sure you stay on the left-hand side of the road!)—Bonnie Wilsey, Oconomowoc, Wis.
I grew up in Chicago and consider myself a hot dog connoisseur. I loved Francine Maroukian's article ["Chicago's Hottest Dogs," July]. The "Perfect Hot Dog, Chicago-Style" checklist was right on! Thank you for a fun and informative piece.—Michael Goldberg, Los Angeles, Calif.
Santa Fe Memories
I especially enjoyed Joan Juliet Buck's "Seeking Santa Fe" [ July], because she narrates from a local's perspective, with depth and insight. I lived in Santa Fe in the 80's and I miss the city's deep soul and spiritual vibe. Buck's beautiful account left me with one question, though: why would she leave? —Gale Wrausmann, Carmel, Calif.
Reader's Find: Belize
My husband and I just spent a lovely week at the St. George's Caye Lodge, in Belize [877/517-9365; gooddiving.com; doubles from $394, including meals]. It's just a short ride from Belize City, but I felt like I was in a world that tourists had forgotten. There was nothing to obscure my senses from the pristine nature that surrounds the hotel. Our highlight was scuba diving to explore the thriving barrier reef—the second largest in the world—especially the crystal-blue waters at Half Moon Bay.—Teri Nowak, West Linn, Oreg.