by Pamela Hruska

Happy New Years!

If you celebrated New Years Eve suitably, you should probably have a large source of water in front of you right now. Or, maybe you are one of those responsible healthy sorts who always consumes their infamous 8 glasses a day. I myself have a tendancy to drink coffee, and forget about the water, quite often, but it’s on my resolution list to stop doing that…

So, what are you reaching for? Tap, bottle, britta filtered? If it’s well water god help you – there are a tonne of things you need to know to drink that stuff safely, but just because I don’t know anyone who has a well to drink water from, I’m going to be facetious here and assume that if you rely on a well, you probably don’t have internet access either, so I’m not going to concern myself with gearing this random babble about water at you.

I was out for dinner the other day, and believe it or not, the latest up and coming for fine dining will be a water list. That’s right, not the wine list, the water list. This incident tipped me into some contemplation about water…

Babies are around 78% water. Females, 55%, males 60%. About 70% of the earth’s surface is water; only 2.59% of which is fresh water. Of that, less than 1% is suitable for drinking water. What’s crazy is that of that less than 1%, there are a tonne of options for you to choose from out there. The point of all this is to just to quickly run through some types of water, so that when the water sommelier presents you with a long list to choose from, you aren’t shocked to see a list of water itself, and for you to be able to appear shi-shi-fru-fru with the whole sitch. (Maybe you already are?!)

Artesian Water is water collected from a drilled well into an aquifier. When it pressurizes through a layer of clay and rock, its colleted and bottled.

‘Drinking water’ must be sugar and additive free, and the flavors must be less than 1% of the overall product, (anything greater would be considered a soft drink).

Mineral waters can be classed as high or low mineral content depending on how many dissolved mineral solids are included.

Tap waters are usually run through municipal plant purification processes to remove bacterial bits and filter crap. Great usually, unless you live in Walkerton.

Purified, distilled, deionized, reverse osmosis water is just water named after processes some mad chemists invented.

Sparkling water contains natural or added carbon dioxide.

Spring waters come from underground sources and usually don’t need many interventions before they are bottled.

Soda,seltzer,tonic waters are not really classed as waters, and are regulated differently because they can contain sugar and calories.

Now, the fancy pants who taste water for a living have created a scheme to parallel tasting water to wine. They generally base it on taste, smell and mouthfeel matrix. The mouthfeel matrix is what they are referring to when they are talking about presence or absence of bubbles, and the distribution of bubbles if they are present. These people also recommend that certain types of water will taste better if you drink them from a properly suited glass.

Waters can be matched to meals just like vino’s, and as an example one would consider matching starter salads with effervescent waters. If you were having a hearty roast beef, maybe try to find a sparkling mineral water. Still water is suggested when one does not want to overpower delicate dishes. Perrier water would be best considered for cleansing because it has large bubbles, where as San Pellegrino could be paired with a spicy or salty dish because of its tiny bubbles. Some suggest Fiji still water with high silica content for a dessert water, but I would pick ‘Metromint’ because it’s super minty. (It’s also great for hangovers and plane rides to distract oneself from the fuzzy tooth syndrome that’s been known to happen).

You could definitely take this topic as far as you wanted, given that there are about 200 different types of waters on the shelves today. This is just the surface of a world which I never knew existed. So there you have it, you too can be shi-shi-fru-fru when you throw your next party and serve up the water to accompany each dish you serve. People’s hangovers will likely thank you the next day too! If you’re serious about it check out the ‘Fine Waters’ website –


  • Aqua
  • by Pamela Hruska
  • Published on January 1st, 2006

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