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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She is the lead taster for Australia and New Zealand wines and California 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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