Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
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.