Portugal-born Emanuel Pesqueria is the Group Head of Wine at the Gordon Ramsay Restaurants. He started his career as a sous-chef with Crystal Cruises. He is now taking a deep dive down to the gastronomic seabed beside the River Thames.

As well as vintage Madeira wines dating back to 1705, London’s Savoy 1890 Restaurant By Gordon Ramsay – commemorating the year Ceasar Ritz and his chef Georges Auguste  Escoffier arrived from the Grand Hotel, Monte Carlo offers pairings of undersea wines to complement Cornish Turbot and other dishes on its nine-course, £330 tasting for two menus.

The Thameside restaurant, which seats 24 at tables for two and has two servings Tuesday -Saturday, is the world’s only restaurant featuring underwater-aged wine pairings with its tasting menu. 

atwines, Underwater aged wines

The six exclusive wines have been aged with wax-sealed corks in solid and metal cages at depths of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 meters at Ilha do Pessegueiro – Porto Covo and also Marina de Sines, Sines in the district of Setúbal for 12, 18 or 24 months. The wines are  2018 Vinho Branco do Atlântico en Jeroboam 2014 Vinho Millésime do Atlântico 2020 Vinho Rosé do Atlântico 2016 Vinho Tinto do Atlântico 2020 Vinho Monovarietal do Atlântico 2010 Vinho Moscatel Roxo do Atlântico/

Emanuel’s interest in underwater aging began in 2020 when wine consultant Claudio Martins introduced him to the process during a diving expedition off the coast of Portugal. This led to the creation of a distinctive collection of underwater-aged wines, curated in collaboration with Quinta Brejinho da Costa. 

Emanuel and Claudio’s dedication saw the underwater aging of 1060 bottles of Gewurztraminer, with only 60 deemed drinkable after a year. Says Emanuel: “It all depends on the sea temperature, the sea levels, the corks – some corks react to the water, and different grapes react at different depths.” 

The venture supports local divers and collaborates with businesses to promote plastic recycling, using profits to combat ocean pollution. Experts increasingly believe that an underwater environment is the best way to age wine.

Pesqueira previously worked at Red Carnation Hotels and trained under master sommelier Eric Zwiebel at Dorset’s Summer Lodge Hotel. He went on to the five-star Milestone Hotel in Kensington before being head-hunted to join Pall Mall’s Oxford and Cambridge Club as food and beverage manager.  He then joined the private members club for oenophiles, 67 Pall Mall, as a senior sommelier. 

In 1890 his wine list comprised 559 labels, ranging in price from £50 to £59,500. The cellar includes Marchesi Antinori Tignanello 2019 and Cabernet Sauvignon Dominus Estate Christian Moueix. Wine pairings are available at £275, £475, £995, and £1,890 for the “Elegance” pairing, which includes 50 glasses of Petrus 2012 and Romanee Conti Corton 2010 and a 75 ml glass of d’Yquem 1999. There is a non-alcoholic pairing at £70. Over forty wines are available by the glass. Over a quarter of the list is priced over £1,000.

The menu comprises a trio of canapés including a black truffle bun served on a spoon, chicken liver parfait in a cylindrical tuile flavored with marmalade and gingerbread, and a lobster and devilled mayonnaise cornet. A wild garlic velouté, creme fraiche, and frog leg follow after which comes white beetroot with smoked sardine and confit hen yolk, with sauce Albert (grated horseradish and mustard in a bouillon.) Fish come with beurre blanc and Cornish red chicken poached and served with green asparagus from the Loire Valley, potato dauphin, wild garlic, and sauce Albufera as well as a separate chicken sauce 

Rove de Garrigues goat milk cheese from Provence is served with peas, green strawberry, marjoram, and mint. A blackcurrant and cassis sorbet with champagne foam, violet foam, and dried raspberries precedes Pink Lady apple tarte tatin with lemon thyme, caramel sauce, and a vanilla ice cream flavored with apple marigold, 

Coffee is by Workshop Coffee in Fitzrovia and the intimate ambient Art Deco by William Sage. 

Since the late 19th century, The Savoy has been synonymous with epitomized luxury and exceptional hospitality. Escoffier was sacked after a year for taking kickbacks from suppliers.

Located in The Savoy Hotel, overlooking the famous Savoy Court, Restaurant 1890 is Gordon Ramsay’s third restaurant in the iconic London location which opened in 1889 and was built by an impresario with profits from his popular Gilbert & Sullivan light opera productions. Executive Head Chef James Sharp was mentored by Chef Patron, Matt Abe. After being a member of the team at Gordon Ramsay’s Knightsbridge one-star restaurant, Petrus, James then opened Restaurant 1890 in 2022. 

The wine list has been awarded the Three Star Wine List by the World’s Best Wine Lists 2023.

Vinho do Atlantico
Vinho do Atlantico

Says Pesqueria: “Every time I open a bottle, it is like unlocking a special and specific time and place. Every glass has something different to say. Each wine represents a journey, passion, history, family, mystery, and celebration somewhere.”

On land or under the sea. As Escoffier said: “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.”