Voted as the world’s best underwater wine cellar and restaurant, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas has launched a new underwater-aged wine tasting experience. Taking place six metres below the indian Ocean’s surfaces in SEA restaurant, surrounded by near 360-degree views of the local marine life, this exclusive and private tasting sees guests sample Dom Perignon champagne that has been aged submerged in open water for 365 days. Previously guests were only able to sample these wines at special celebratory dinners.
In 2020, Anantara Kihavah wine experts started an innovative experiment of submerging 12 bottles of Dom Perignon 2008 vintage champagne below the ocean’s surface to age for 365 days. After the sunken bottles were retrieved, the champagnes noticeably gained distinct flavour notes such as seaweed, minerals, and salinity in its taste, perfectly complementing the classic components of Dom Perignon including citrus, brioche, and nutty characters.
Now every year, a limited number of premium bottles are submerged underwater at Kihavah’s house reef without enclosures and away from direct sunlight. This way, the ageing process of wine will be faster absorbing the sea minerals and salinity.
Resort wine experts keep diversifying the varieties by including a selected number of classic wines into the list, in addition to Dom Perignon champagnes. To understand the ageing process of the sunken wines, Anantara Kihavah periodically conducts comparative tastings between an underwater-aged wine and a cellar-aged wine to determine the distinct changes in flavours and components. Today there are 22 sunken champagne and wines in the reef, including underwater aged Dom Perignon Brut Millesime, Épernay, France 2012, Umbria IGT ‘Cervaro della Sala’ Chardonnay, Castello della Sala 2018 and Chassagne-Montrachet, Morgeot Les Fairendes VV, Francois Jouard 2014 975.
During the exclusive wine tasting oenophile’s will sample underwater-aged Dom Perignon and compare its characteristics with a cellar-aged Dom Perignon champagne. All champagnes are paired with canapés and a selection of premium cheeses.
Situated in Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, SEA takes diners beneath the waves to the very edge of Anantara Kihavah’s famed house reef where the glass curved walls offer panoramic views of tropical marine life, including turtles, manta rays and clown fish. The wine cellar has over 450 bottles from two dozen countries, SEA’s underwater position enables its wine cellar to maintain cooler temperatures allowing each label to age gracefully.
The private underwater-aged wine tasting experience starts from 2,455 USD (approx. £1,993) for two people.
Villas at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas start from £1,100 per night with breakfast.