Featured User: Jason Brater

Jason Brater is a 45-year-old high school history teacher and lives with his wife and kids in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jason is an avid University of Michigan sports fan and loves pairing his love for wine, food, and Michigan football tailgating. Originally from the Boston area, Jason’s favorite foods are lobster and raw oysters, but he also loves comfort foods like great pizza, chili, and barbecue. His favorite wines are earthy, spicy Zinfandel , big Chateauneuf-du-pape , and any yeasty, toasty sparkling white. What Jason enjoys most about the Delectable app is the interactive nature of its “social network” component; even if you drink a wine by yourself, it can still be a communal experience. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Jason Brater: I grew up in a family where food was an important part of the nuclear and extended family experience. It seemed we were always cooking, hosting, or travelling around the Northeast to see friends and family. Food and wine were always present at all these events and at a young age I learned to equate the abundant flavors of food with the warm, comforting feelings of family. As I got older, wine seemed to become an extension of food and I think, for me, the same feelings of family naturally transferred to wine. In addition, during college my brother took the Intro to Wines course at Cornell, and I was able to glean most of the course learning through “studying” with him for that class. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? JB: I’ve really been loving the Cabernet Franc from the Saumur region of Loire because in the long dark Michigan winters most Saumur red is reminiscent of the warmth and bright fruit of summer. I’m also really excited about the wines from the Finger Lakes in upstate New York after a visit there this past summer. The whites and reds from Seneca and Cayuga are so underrated (and SO much better than they were 25 years ago when I was there in college). Rieslings , Gewurtztraminer and Cabernet Franc is doing extremely well there! D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? JB: The first time I tried a Vinho Verde that was effervescent but not bubbly, I was taken aback. But it is really refreshing and delicious on a hot summer day. In the same vain, really dry sparkling red like Lambrusco was weird to me at first, but I’ve come to really love the depth of flavors and the change of pace they offer. D: What is your golden rule for wine? JB: I guess I’d say my golden rule for wine is that there shouldn’t be any exclusivity and intimidating fanciness to it. I drink the wine that I like with the food I like—I don’t like following whatever conventions or experts tell me about what wine pairings are “correct”. Additionally, I follow the rule of 2 or 3; I always, always buy more than one bottle when I try a new wine. Doing so gives me the opportunity to really experience the wine, and if the first bottle is great, I’ve already got more. 😊 D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? JB: When not having wine I love a good cocktail: vodka martini, sidecar, or a French 75. After dinner I love a good aged cognac or a peaty Islay single malt scotch . D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine JB: This seems a bit of an odd question, but since you asked…I guess I’d go with a quote from the obscure song “Squonk” by the band Genesis (After Peter Gabriel left): “All are not huntsmen who can blow the huntsmen’s horn.” I think it speaks to a few things about wine and wine enthusiasts that I firmly believe. First of all, just because a wine is expensive or is made by a fancy producer it is not necessarily good. As far as I am concerned, wine has to actually taste good to be considered good wine. Secondly, the mystique and pomp that often accompany wine lead to a lot of wine enthusiasts who chase after the label and the recommendations of the next great wine expert. I think people who do that do often end up with some great wines but they often miss out on what I believe to be one of the most interesting and alluring things about wine – the individual nature of the relationship between the taster and the wine. I am fascinated by the fact that multiple people can taste the same wine and experience it completely differently. This is why I love blind tastings! D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? JB: I’d be your favorite wine under $25. Dependable, comforting, ready for fun and sometimes even disarmingly deep.

Medici Ermete

Le Tenute Assolo Reggiano Lambrusco 2016

Deep red wine flavor w a touch of carbonation. Plums and dark cherries. — 4 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
P, Ron and 4 others liked this
Jason Brater

Jason Brater

Thanks @P A ! Was fun to stop and think about the qs!
Ryan Vento

Ryan Vento Premium Badge

I know I'm late to the party but congrats on the feature!
Jason Brater

Jason Brater

@Ryan Vento appreciate it! Was fun to do.

Travaglini

Estate Bottled Gattinara Nebbiolo 2014

Great Nebbiolo w bright summery red fruit: strawberries, red cherries, and a touch of summer herbs like oregano. — 5 months ago

Peter, P and 5 others liked this

Meyer Family Cellars

Yorkville Highlands Syrah 2012

Really good dark red fruit and some earthiness. Lightly spicy as well. The oak definitely is apparent here towards the finish. — 5 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
P, Shay and 3 others liked this

La Chiara

Gavi Cortese 2016

Lemons and not quite ripe quince w a touch of apricot. Some green herbs. Refreshing and a good everyday white. — 4 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
P, Ken and 4 others liked this

Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz

Pfalz Dry Riesling 2016

Delightfully crisp w some light minerality and a blast of lime acidity that calmed a bit as it warmed closer to room temp. Faint touch of pear and some green herbaceousness. Really great! — 4 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
P, Iwan and 8 others liked this

Grattamacco

Bolgheri Superiore Red Blend 2016

Beautiful nose of bright red fruits. Tastes of dark cherries, white pepper, and oak. The tannins developed as it opened and the last glass was absolutely phenomenal. — 5 months ago

P, David and 5 others liked this

Turley

Duarte Vineyard Zinfandel 2015

At pop and pour it was jammy with ripe black cherries, cola, and plums. As it opened up the flavors stretched out and revealed more depth with the round fruit giving way to white and black pepper as well as more intense less ripe dried fruit notes and a hint of cedar. With food the black pepper moved to the foreground of the finish and the smooth tannins popped out. Really great stuff! — 5 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
Shay, Ron and 6 others liked this

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

Reserve Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne Blend

Strawberries, cranberries, a touch of maybe white peach? and beautiful bubbles. — 4 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
Ron, P and 14 others liked this

Fiorini

Corte degli Attimi Lambrusco di Sorbara 2017

Cranberries, strawberries, and light bubbles. Delicious dry lambrusco. Really great qpr at $16. — 4 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
Peter, David and 6 others liked this

Owen Roe

Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc 2009

Black raspberries, deep plum, and dark cherry. A touch of Parsley/green herb and a faint hit of menthol. Some cedar and a peppery spice. Deelish. Night 2: red cherries and black licorice (?) and black pepper more dominant. Still just as yummy. — 4 months ago

Heather Dillaway
with Heather
P, David and 2 others liked this