Tasting Notes: Honey Spencer, Sommelier, Wine Consultant and Co-Founder of Bastarda

Honey Spencer’s experience in the wine industry spans continents, having managed Sager + Wilde in London, Den Vandrette in Copenhagen and as guest Sommelier for NOMA in Mexico before returning to the UK as Head Sommelier of London restaurant NUALA.

Honey now heads up Bastarda, a unique concept that brings together innovators and tastemakers across food, booze and art. She also continues to be a wine consultant for Abelandcole.

Honey likes Hojicha

“My favourite. This [the Hojicha tea] was really interesting; I loved the savoury elements.”

Notes: pungent, umami, savoury (with lifted sweetness) wet autumn leaf

Food matches: pork, mushrooms, parmesan, roasted tomatoes, roasted nuts, asparagus.

A Wine Sommelier's Thoughts on Jasmine  

Notes: Light, floral and fresh with notes of green apple, elderflower and cucumber. The Jasmine tea is definitely more of an aperitif-style.

Food matches: Sashimi, green beans, summer salads, peas, fish stews, scallops, pho (Asian broths), lightly pickled or cured vegetables and fish.

Darjeeling in Close Running

“Charlie’s favourite! In my mind it [the Darjeeling tea] was a hybrid in terms of body and flavour of the Jasmine/Hojicha. Really delicious.”

Notes: seaweed, roasted seeds.

Food matches: Root vegetables, heartier dishes, but nothing too heavy. Squash, light lentil dishes, sweet potato, gratins, tagine.

“In short, both Charlie and I loved the teas and our overall discussion revolved around how refreshing they would be in restaurants, both for guests wanting to drink something interesting and food friendly without the booze, but also for Sommeliers, giving them another string in their bow in terms of interesting pairings with food.”