5 Minute Guide to Drink Better Water

Water Sommelier Jessica Altieri Gives You 5 Minute Guide to Drinking Better Water

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Where does your water come from?

It’s not something we think about every day when we turn on the tap. But let me ask you this…when you have a choice, do you prefer to order a mineral water?

Mineral water tastes better because of where it comes from.

When it bubbles forth from layers of rock in the ground, or filters down through high mountains, it brings with it a combination of minerals in various strengths. This is what gives it taste. This is its ‘terroir’, as wine buffs call the environment the grape comes from.

Types of Water

Let’s start by looking at the various types of water you drink and define exactly what they are.

Tap: Originates from large wells, lakes, rivers or reservoirs and is processed as per Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards

Spring: Originates from a confirmed spring source. It may contain minerals, but non-mineral spring water is common. Check the label.

Mineral: Contains at least 250 parts per million (ppm) of trace minerals.  It originates from underground water source and natural carbonation is common

Still or Sparkling: Some mineral waters have natural carbonation. Others are still. Some waters have carbonation added artificially, like soda waters.

Seltzer: Artificial carbonation added to water

Club Soda: Has added flavour

Tonic Water: Is bitter in taste and has calories

Artesian: Uses an Artesian Aquifier to pump water from deeper layers to the surface[CM1] 

Water’s Terroir: Really a Thing?

We regularly discuss the terroir of wine but the way in which the geographic region affects the flavor and properties of wine, is also applicable to fine mineral water. Marrying and melding with its minerals and rainfall, landscape and soil, water – as much as wine – has a strong element of terroir.

The main components of terroir are all represented in the waters of the world, especially those that are bottled for consumption. Climate: check. Everything is subject to weather. Soil and terrain: check. All water flows through it to end up underground, mingling with minerals. Tradition: check. Many of the great water companies will tell you on their websites exactly how they harvest their water. 

Terroir? Water has it in spades.

Different terroirs produce varying levels of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium. These minerals, which are present at different levels based on geography and other factors, have a marked impact on the taste and mouthfeel of water.

So, as you might expect, different kinds of water pair better with different types of food, just as wine does. Additionally, the quality and type of water used in coffee and tea have a significant impact on the taste of the beverage and can also alter the taste profile of a glass of wine or an entire meal.

 Enjoy your next glass of water and remember; “All Water Is NOT Equal”.

Top 5 Summer Wine Picnic Tips

How to Pack for the Perfect Wine Picnic

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If you’re looking to woo a wine lover, take advantage of good weather and hit the park. Laying down with a loved one, sampling the finer wines and cheeses from local markets is about as romantic as it gets. But to ensure a fine feast with the proper accoutrements, follow these guidelines.

 

Picnic-ware

Non-negotiable: Bring a classic whicker picnic basket and blanket. You can find these picnic staples at the local goodwill store or via Pottery Barn or World Market. Some picnic baskets come ready-made with a blanket and the appropriate cutlery. But, if supplying your own cutlery, don’t settle for plastic. Bring nice silverware and wash when you return home. Don’t forget the spreaders for cheeses and jams. Fresh flowers add a nice touch.

Cheeses

Arrange for a quality array of cheeses. Diversify your selection: Think one hard cheese, one soft cheese and one ripened cheese. Tasteful cheese varieties include Asiago, Parmesan, Gouda, mozzarella, provolone, Brie and Gorgonzola. Though with 2000 variations of cheese in the world, feel free to sample your local market or grocer into a customized selection.

Meats

Select dried meats that do not require refrigeration such as coppa, speck and salami. Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that compliments wine and cheese nicely. Bring two or three different meat selections, as you won’t want to skimp on the opportunity to keep your date protein-fueled and the date lasting as long as possible.

Fruits

Include a mixture of dry and fresh fruits. For dried fruits, compose a collection of cranberries, dates, figs, dried Mangos or apricots. Fresh fruits cleanse the palate and should include a medley of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, apple slices, fresh figs, cantaloupe, watermelon or grapes. To help decide, ask your picnic mate for his or her favorite fruit, and especially inquire for any allergies.

Grains

The cheeses and jams require a vehicle: crackers and bread. Pack a few cracker variations such as almond crackers, light wafers, multi-grain rounds or wheat thins. Include a bread as well: a French baguette, sourdough loaf, rolls or croissants. Feeling ambitious? Nothing beats a home-baked loaf.

Optional

Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and cashews, compliment cheese, crackers and dried fruits. Olives, either Kalamata or green varieties, additionally pair well. Don’t forget the sweets: honey, dark chocolate, grilled brown-sugar peaches and jams. Veggies provide refreshing nutrients: grilled eggplant, sliced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers or avocado.