Letters to the Editor

September 15, 2010 Published in the October 2010 issue of Seattle Met


Goal Rush
Compliments to Seattle Met for exposing the real competitors in today’s youth soccer: the parents (" A Losing Proposition , " September 2010). As president of a local soccer club, I witnessed great matches of competitiveness, doggedness, and tenacity—and that was just on the sidelines. I finally had to quit, but not before implementing mandatory training on the psychology of coaching youth athletes to increase self-esteem, reduce performance-destroying anxiety, and decrease dropout rates. Now if we could increase the dropout rate of overly competitive sideline behavior—that would be the best goal of all.
Jason Plute
Lake Tapps, Washington

Pod People
I have been a fan of Luke Burbank for years and have enjoyed more hours of Too Beautiful to Live than I can count (" Young MC ," September 2010). The work that great podcasters like Burbank are doing is a refreshing change from the decreasingly interesting traditional mass media, so I hope that people continue to support their work in whatever way possible to make sure it can continue to exist.
Alex Thornton
New York, New York

You Be the Judge
I own a winery that did not make this list (" 100 Best Washington Wines ," September 2010), simply because I did not see the notice in the newsletter. We are inundated with requests to send our wines here, there, and everywhere, in addition to sending them to every auction that comes along.

As a small (only 1,000 cases a year) winery, I would love to have this recognition, but between our entire staff (my husband, myself, and a few part-time people to help at harvest and in the tasting room), we don’t have the bandwidth to respond to all of these requests in addition to growing the grapes, making the wine, and selling the wine from our tasting room. That said, the wine judges that we are most concerned with are the ones that we face every day across the tasting room bar.
Barbara Sherman, 
co-owner, Paradisos del Sol Winery
Zillah, Washington

Proof in the Bottle
The wineries on the list (" 100 Best Washington Wines ," September 2010) are no doubt famous and well-known because they are consistently producing the best wine in the state. Quite a few are relatively unknown wines for most of us. The recurrence of certain wines and wineries on top-such-and-such lists is not suspect but rather proof-positive that they are releasing great stuff time and time again.
Adam Kubrock
Walla Walla, Washington

Surprising Omissions
There is a wealth of information here (" 100 Best Washington Wines ," September 2010). But I was surprised there was no note of extremely fine cabs and cab blends like Andrew Will Sorella, Owen Roe DuBrul, and Bookwalter Foreshadow. There’s Betz Clos de Betz but no mention of their Pere de Famille, in my mind an excellent cab that blows away the Clos de Betz. This is likely driven by the wine-submission method Seattle Met used.

I was glad to see Januik’s Columbia Valley, but putting it at number 70 was hard for me to agree with. And Novelty Hill is a good cab (I have several on hand myself to pass out a decent wine at a BBQ with friends who aren’t necessarily into wines, as it’s good enough to offend no one and even yield a bit of satisfaction), but in my opinion, it’s nowhere even close to the league of the top 26 wines, let alone the cabs, of Washington state. I guess its placement was driven by “value.”

Wine Critic’s Note Keith, you are entirely correct regarding which wines wineries decide to submit and, of course, whether they submit wines at all (" 100 Best Washington Wines ," September 2010). Keep in mind that the category restrictions made it impossible for a winery like Betz, in your example, to submit the Clos de Betz (under $50), the Cote Patriarche (over $50), and the Pere de Famille (over $50), as only one bottle over $50 was permitted from each winery.

As a consumer, I always find it difficult to determine, when wines are not listed, whether they were not submitted or were poorly rated. There is no way to know, unfortunately.

One way to address this—from a writer’s perspective—is by attempting to include the entire universe of wines. This was my intention by making the solicitation via the Washington Wine Commission’s newsletter, which is sent to all wineries. All wineries had the opportunity to at least see this solicitation and submit wines. Of course, not everyone saw it and not everyone who did see it submitted wines.

Regarding the Novelty Hill cabernet: First, all of these wines were point-scored blind. Second, point scores were not adjusted for price —or for anything for that matter.

How to account for the Novelty Hill cabernet being listed higher than the Januik? There are numerous possible explanations ranging from it’s a better wine in this vintage, differences in how wines display themselves when they are popped and poured on ‘any given Sunday,’ palate preferences, etc. I will say, of course, that I stand behind the ratings I gave for each of these wines given the format I used.
Sean P. Sullivan

What's My Winery?
The " 100 Best Washington Wines " is getting all of the debate over method, but 10 Top Winery Visits (September 2010) is the more puzzling of the two for me. I think it would have been much more helpful to readers to hear suggestions specifically about the best place to picnic, to visit on a day trip, to experience crush, to do barrel tastings, to catch the best views, and the most welcoming family wineries, the most family and dog friendly, etc. Oh yeah, better not forget the wine, like the wineries that have special reserve or library tastings.


Look Both Ways. Please
As a regular of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, both as pedestrian and driver, I’m totally convinced the issue in that spot isn’t the intersection—it’s the people (" Dysfunction Junction ," August 2010).

Time and time again people jaywalk there, strolling along in no hurry to catch a bus either. Just to get to the other side, regardless of the light, regardless of the traffic. With an air of entitlement and a glare that says they have every right to be in the middle of the street and how dare you drive your car there.

The blame is on the pedestrian. People just ignore available options, and feel they’re not just above the law of the land, but of physics as well. It just takes increased common sense.
Mark Schlipper
West Seattle

In the September issue (“Best of Washington Wine”), illustrator Jun Park should have been credited for the illustrations of wine and wineries on pages 46 and 54. In " 10 Top Winery Visits " we misattributed a quote by Martin Clubb of Walla Walla’s L’Ecole No 41. He, not his wife Megan Clubb, holds degrees in chemical engineering and management. And the photos of the homes at 1301 North 41st Street and 4912 Wallingford Avenue North were mistakenly swapped in " Asking Price Hot ’Hoods: Wallingford ."

Contact the Editors
Seattle Met wants to know what you think! Send raves and rants and corrections to [email protected], comment on articles at, or send snail mail to 1201 Western Ave, Ste 425, Seattle, Washington 98101. Letters to the editor are subject to editing. Please include address and daytime phone number.

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