Saicho comes in 2 expressions:
Darjeeling, which has notes of mandarin, ginger and wood spice and gentle, dry tannins which makes it incredibly food friendly and an ideal accompaniment to grilled pork or a hearty lasagne.
Jasmine, which is beautifully floral and has notes of fresh green apples, lychee, elderflower and of course jasmine. A touch of sweetness and the slightly chewy tannins make it a great alternative to Moscato d’Asti to accompany desserts like peach melba, elderflower jellies or panna cotta.
Matteo Montone, Wine Director at Berners Tavern:
Darjeeling has aromas of ripe yellow plums, golden apple skin and blonde tobacco. At the palate has a fine mousse with good texture, tannins and a fruity finish. Perfect with seabass ceviche served with avocado, tomatoes and ginger sauce. The tannins and the bubbles counterbalance the oiliness of the dish, while cleansing the palate.
Jasmine has a pronounced floral character with rose petal, creamy texture and refreshing spicy finish. Reminds me of the texture of a Kabinett Riesling but with bubbles. I would match it with poached lobster served with a lemon verbena reduction. The acidity and bubbles of the tea cut well through the sweet meat of the lobster.