Acquiring the taste for water
Our panel of distinguished tasters – three sommeliers and a tea-taster – meticulously analysed at least 140 different waters for us. How? By rigorously following a four-step methodology.
Pour, observe and smell…
There is a whole ritual followed by professional tasters of food and drink. In part, this ensures that every facet of the product is carefully assessed. But it is also because the process actually involves more than just taste alone: other senses have their part to play.
So you want to try your hand at tasting water like one of our experts? First of all, it has to be correctly poured. Use a glass without any trace of deposit or residual smell. It should preferably be straight-sided. Pour the water so that the glass is one-third full.
The next step is observing. Look at it very carefully – from above and from the side. By doing this, you’ll be able to see any impurities.
In the third step, you smell the water. Put the glass under your nose and breathe deeply and regularly several times. If you close your eyes you will find it improves your concentration. Now you’re ready to move on to the tasting phase.
… Before you taste
Take a mouthful of water, letting it linger initially on your tongue before swilling it around your mouth. Hold the water over the back of your tongue before swallowing. This technique allows you to assess the acidity, taste, structure, lightness and mouth feel.
To assess the balance and length of finish of the water, take a second mouthful and let it lie on your tongue. Breathe in a small amount of air through your mouth and breathe out through your nose. Continue as before, holding the water over the back of your tongue and then swallowing. Enjoy!
A who’s who of sommeliers
We were fortunate enough to have three world-class sommeliers as members of our special panel:
- Andreas Larsson, a Swedish sommelier who was elected the world’s best sommelier in 2007
- George Lepré, formerly head sommelier in Le Grand Véfour and the Ritz hotels in Paris before directing the Professional Studies programme at the Academy of Wine in Paris
- Jeremy Moreau, a young Franco-American, formerly head sommelier at the Jules Verne restaurant in Paris and wine consultant for the New York-based wine business, Winebow Inc.