Jessica Altieri

Wine and Water Expert

The Sophisticated Sip – How to Taste and Enjoy Great Water

Jessica AltieriComment

Your choice of water will connect you with another time and place.

Time…more than half the water in the world is older than the sun burst of 4.6 million years ago. Imagine, ancient ice drifting in space through the ages, making its way slowly to the mountain peaks of our planet, filtering through mineral rock for decades to be poured into your glass today. When you make your choice of this pure, essential, life-giving drink, you tap into time.

Place…your water can come to you from exotic places such as the pristine Arctic, from volcanic regions of Germany, Denmark’s lake highlands and wells of Italian provinces. Drink in the atmosphere, the scenery. The unique rock and ice formations of these regions have imparted their benefits to you. Soak up the sense of place that comes to you in a clear bottle of perfection.


1.    What to Look For

Your taste buds will have their own preference for the level of carbonation, sodium and minerals in your choice of fine water. In other words, how bubbly or salty do you like it? How much do you enjoy a mineral aftertaste? Do you like a little bite in your water, or do you prefer it smooth? No two fine waters are the same. Your adventure through them will lead you to favorites…or to the best waters to accompany your meal and wine.

2.    Terroir

Just like wine, water is a product of its environment. Some fine waters emerge from limestone karst, others come through volcanic rock, yet more flow down through high mountains. Their journey accounts for the mineral content they have acquired en route and for their individuality.

3.    Dining Out

Pair your water to your wine first; then consider your meal. Subtle dishes are best matched with smooth waters which have lower levels of minerals and carbonation. Strong foods taste better with stronger waters. Enjoy making the connections.

4.    Working Out

If you are taking your water to the gym, you’re making a healthy choice; mineral water will help to replace the salts and minerals you lose working out. Think calcium, magnesium, sodium, and all that your body needs.

5.    The Hard Facts

Mineral water is defined in law by its mineral content, which ranges from 50 milligrams per liter to 1,500mg/L. The term ‘spring water’ is used a little more loosely, so check the label to make sure you are getting a fine water from a good source.

6.    The Aroma

There isn’t one…and there shouldn’t be. No swirling of glasses under the nose required, but if you detect an unpleasant whiff, something is wrong.

7.    Killing Your Dinner Wine

The purity of your mineral water makes it a much better accompaniment to fine wine than regular waters, which may spoil the taste of wine with its impurities.

8.    Amateur Hour

Adding lemon or lime is a mistake. Good mineral water has its own taste. Don’t spoil it.

Each water has a different character, a variance in carbonation and sodium content to appeal to the discerning palette.

Make your selection, drink deeply and savor its time and place.

Jessica Altieri | Certified Water Sommelier