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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She tastes New Zealand wines and California Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

A Comfort Wine with Comfort Food

Villa Creek High Road James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: December 20, 2010

I finally visited Villa Creek Restaurant on a recent trip to Paso Robles. I’ve been a fan of Cris Cherry’s Villa Creek wines for a while, and have heard nothing but raves about his Villa Creek restaurant. And lucky me, I finally got to put the two together.

It was a cold, drizzly Monday night, and I sat at the bar where I could keep an eye on the football game while I read my book. I had heard Villa Creek was a winemaker’s hangout, and it had warm service and a cozy vibe—I heard the staff chatting with both locals and tourists, and the tourists and locals chatting with each other.

The food was fantastic. I ordered the market salad and one of the day’s specials (my ultimate comfort food)—tender braised short ribs and Brussels sprouts with mashed potatoes that had just a hint of horseradish. With it, I ordered a glass of Villa Creek High Road James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007, a Syrah-based wine, for $15. The wine was terrific, bold and intense with plenty of black fruit flavors and a peppery sage note. It stood up to the bold flavors of the food; together, they were a perfect match of the hearty and comforting. I rated the wine 91 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Villa Creek High Road James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007 (88, $50).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated reds from California’s Paso Robles region.

Mr C Fankhauser
Napa, CA USA —  December 20, 2010 1:35pm ET
Hurrah for Ms. Worobiec. Her 91 rating was above the WS rating and for good reason. The right meal at the right place at the right time with a wine that fits like the wisdom of a cherished friend is a combination hard to beat. Most wine lovers must surely have enjoyed similar experiences. Sometimes good things just happen.
Ben Treadaway
San Antonio, TX —  December 21, 2010 4:38pm ET
Mr. Frankhauser,

I definitely agree with your statement about right wine, right meal & right place to rate a wine, and again hurrah for Ms. Worobiec.

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