Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I was working a crossword puzzle, and the question was, "What do you call a winemaker's outside storage?" The word "chai" fits in the spaces and makes the other words I need. Is "chai" the correct word for a winemaker's outside storage? I'm stumped ... I thought "chai" meant "tea."
Chai (pronounced "shay") is a French word for a wine storeroom; usually it refers to an aboveground room rather than an underground cellar (although I've also seen the term "underground chai"). Chai also has the connotation of a barrel storage room vs. bottle storage. You're right that the other meaning of "chai" (rhymes with "sky") is a spicy black tea with honey and milk.
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.