It’s A Real Profession
Water tasting is a bona fide business – the same way wine sommeliers taste and assess aspects of wine, especially in food pairing – except in this case, it is really just water. Water sommeliers argue that there are different flavors of water, and actually make a living from the deep analysis of water, tasting, judging and educating individuals on the many aspects of water, to which most people probably don’t give a second thought.
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The Water Sommelier
The United States’ only certified Water Sommelier is Martin Riese, who offers his water tasting expertise at Patina Restaurant Group in Los Angeles. The author and Water Tasting Educator, who started as an apprentice at the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Stadt Hamburg was officially certified as a Mineral Water Sommelier in 2010 from the German Mineral Water Trade Association. The native German has been heavily featured in numerous media outlets around the world for his purported talent in the world of fine water. Riese’s famous Water Menu spans 44-pages at the Los Angeles County of Museum of Art, with bottles ranging from US$8 to US$20.
World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Water
2Chainz and Diplo Try US$100,000 Bottled Water
How much would one pay for a particularly luxurious bottle of spring water from the far mountains? US$20 for a single litre might seem a like a stretch, especially for just plain water, but how about a staggering US$100,000? With only nine bottles in the world, the Diamond Edition of the Luxury Collection of Beverly Hills 9OH2O is the monolith of bottled water, with a rich infusion of minerals including calcium, potassium and silica, which 2Chainz famously described as ‘fruity’ in a GQ tasting video. The exquisite water is not without an extravagant bottle, with a dazzling white gold cap set with 14 carats of white and black diamonds. Encased with four engraved Baccarat crystal glasses and a swanky bespoke presentation case, the bottle will be specially presented anywhere in the world by Riese himself, with a special water tasting.
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Like Fine Wine
What is the rationale behind expensive water, when water can be accessed inexpensively in many parts of the world? One might find the similarities between fine water and fine wine more than one might immediately expect – indeed, while access to potable tap water is dime a dozen in more civilized parts of the world, some waters are extremely difficult to procure and hence very limited in supply. An example would be harvesting water from a 15,000 year old glacier as opposed to simply purifying water from a public source.
Like wine pairings, water can also be selectively curated to make excellent pairings with food and other drinks. When having salad, for example, one might consider having a glass of water low in minerals that has what sommeliers describe as a ‘smooth mouth’. Given the salad’s natural acidity, the ‘smooth mouth’ would lower the tartness with a balanced experience.
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