THE FLAME IN THE FLOOD & THE GREAT AMERICAN WINE COMPANY RED BLEND
I first heard about The Flame in the Flood a looong time ago, back when it hit the Kickstarter scene. I remember being intrigued by the character designs and the environmental art, a style reminiscent of cut paper and painterly strokes. I'm happy to say that playing through the game was just as visually rewarding as those early concept designs. The Flame in the Flood is a rogue-like survival game. With only your rough and tumble dog as a companion, you must make your way down the harrowing river in an attempt to get to higher (and hopefully better) land. You meet all sorts of obstacles along the way, and if you don't take care of your basic needs appropriately you'll meet a cruel fate. Now, when I first started this game, I was completely overwhelmed by the stress of trying to keep my character, Scout, alive. I never seemed to have the right medicine on hand, and those darn boars and wolves were constantly getting the best of me. But as I pushed onward and learned the tricks of the game (or rather, the tricks of not dying), I became more and more adept at surviving. The Flame in the Flood does a very good job of balancing the brutal reality of survival. It is challenging: challenging enough that you will be punished for stupid mistakes, but not challenging enough to make you walk away in frustration. And did I mention the soundtrack? Wow is it something else! The folk songs composed by Chuck Ragan weave a layer of raw emotion that truly compliment the perseverance and wilderness of the game. I'm usually a fan of video game soundtracks, but this one is a work of art.
Now, the funny thing about this pairing is that my mom gave me this bottle of wine while I was visiting them. I thought, "Huh, well that's a neat Americana label." Then I got home, loaded up this game, and started sipping a glass of The Great American Wine Company's Red Blend without really thinking about the fact that they could pair well together...but lo and behold they do! This red blend is bursting with the juicy taste of black cherries and raspberries, warm baking spices like cinnamon, and a lovely hint of vanilla. I mean, to be sipping on a berry-licious wine while also scavenging for mulberries to survive on? That's SO much fun! The smooth texture and taste of this wine made it easy to indulge in, and it helped calm my nerves while attempting to survive in that unforgiving wilderness. Usually I go out of my way to search for a wine that will compliment the game, but this one fell right into my lap and I couldn't be more pleased!