CHAI & HOMEBREWED CHAI WINE
Hello dear readers! It's been a crazy couple of months! Unsurprisingly, during this time, I've been drinking a lot of wine and playing a lot of games. Well...actually that's a lie I've mostly just been playing one game...however! Just a bit before everything hit the fan, I got a really cool Kickstarter board game in the mail. And doesn't a Kickstarter item arriving at your doorstep just feel awesome?
Back in December, when I was wandering around the PAX Unplugged convention, I stumbled upon Chai, a beautiful game about making tea. The artwork drew me in like a moth to light, and I waited patiently in line so I could test the game out. After one demo round, I was in love, and my friend who was with me at the time immediately Kickstarted the game for me as a Christmas present. The gameplay is fairly relaxing (like a nice cup of tea) and it plays quickly. The customer deck is full of fun Easter Egg characters (like Picard, Alice in Wonderland, and the Queen of England!). The Kickstarter deluxe pieces are absolutely adorable. Just look at those little wooden tea leaf pieces and the custom tea cups!!! Steeped Games (the husband and wife team that made Chai) is releasing Chai: High Tea on Kickstarter later this month, and I can't wait to check that out as well.
When Chai finally arrived on my doorstep, I knew I had to find a tea-themed wine to pair with it. This resulted in a great Google quest, which revealed to me that homebrewed tea wine is a thing. I then found Pixie's Pocket, a treasure trove of DIY cordials, wines, and meads, all written by an incredible herbalist and brewer named Amber Shehan. I was absolutely delighted. I knew I had to try her spiced chai wine recipe, so I immediately ordered everything I'd need to make my first batch of homebrewed wine. It wasn't even that expensive, I spent about $20 between the gallon jug kit and the supplies! It was quite easy, I followed her recipe to the "tea" and a month later I was emptying my gallon jug of chai wine into mason jars to store in the fridge. All of this was perfectly timed, because almost immediately we went into lockdown and I was left with an incredibly handy supply of homemade wine. The wine itself is spicy, slightly dry, and tastes a lot like chai tea! I used bread yeast because its what I had on hand, but I'd really like to try making this again with a sweet mead yeast. And I think next time I'd also try adding some molasses or brown sugar. Now that I have the supplies, I can't wait to make another one of the recipes from Pixie's Pocket. And just in case you missed it above, click here for the spicy chai wine recipe.
I'm really happy with this pairing, what could be better than enjoying board games and homebrewed wine while we're all stuck at home? Stay safe, friends! And let me know if you decide to start homebrewing too!