Bottled Water of the World

FineWaters represents the Fine Water category, educating the consumers and the media and F&B professionals about water not just being water.

The Fine Water Society was founded in 2008 to create a global forum and to further enhance the visibility of Fine Water and convey the idea that water is not just water but a natural product with terroir and unique characteristics.

A tasting provides the best introduction to the surprising richness of epicurean experiences with water. Here are directions for conducting your own. I recommend that, at the beginning, it not be conducted blind: A water tasting should be fun more of an introduction to the differences in bottled waters than a hardcore blind tasting, which can be intimidating.

As the host, you should provide information on all the waters and let people enjoy the tactile experience of handling the bottle.

Here are a few guidelines:

  • Buy as many waters as possible from each of the five FineWaters Balance categories Still, Effervescent, Light, Classic, and Bold. One bottle is enough for six to eight people. You should have at least ten waters fifteen is a better number (two to three in each category). Within each of the categories, try to find waters with different TDS levels, sources (spring water or rainwater), or
    countries or regions of origin.
  • Chill all the waters to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13°C) to nicely showcase the differences in the waters. Make sure they stay at the same temperature throughout the tasting otherwise their qualities (or the perception of them) will change.
  • You will need two to three proper water glasses per person. Ideally, have each flight in the glasses at the same time.
  • Start with Still and work your way through the levels up to Bold. You can swallow, but have a bucket ready for emptying glasses. Sometimes it’s fun to have pure H2O available to calibrate your palate. Le Bleu distilled water is one good choice that is widely available.
  • Serve bread or crackers, but not salty food.
  • Make notes if you wish, describing how the water feels (short, long, focused, wide, and so forth).

Because the waters vary significantly in mineral content, mouthfeel, and other characteristics, it will be hard to pick a best water. Instead, think of foods that would be good complements to
particular waters.