Water is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odourless and nearly colourless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients.
One of the most under rated beverages in the world. We could not survive without it, yet most folk still swear by “water is water” as in it doesn’t matter. In reality it does. It matters a lot. For starters non of your other favourite beverages would exist without it. Plus it plays a big role in food pairings. Have you ever been to a restaurant that served a different water with each course, the same way they did with wine?
I’m not going in the deep end of telling you that water in fact is not tasteless. Nor is it just water. I love doing water tastings, since it’s the one course where people come in highly skeptical and leave positively surprised. They are inexpensive, fit well with your breakfast meeting and stir up a conversation. Not as much excitement going in as say a champagne tasting but different for sure.
Try it at home. Pour 3 different waters and taste them as you would with wine. Note the difference and you’ll be surprised. You don’t have to go with all bottled water. Get a glass of regular tap water, chill down a glass of boiled water and serve a glass of any kind of bottled water on the side. That alone will give you a better understanding of the “tasteless, odourless" substance.
When it comes to pairing water with food, it plays a crucial role in cleansing and refreshing your palate. With water mouthfeel becomes the most important part of the pairing. Bubbles playing an important role here. Water has 5 different styles from still to bold bubbles. Perrier has large bold bubbles that act as a firework in your mouth. When you pair that with let's say sushi it wouldn’t work due to the light and subtle taste and texture of raw fish. But pair it with heavy butter sauce or fatty dishes and it will help cut through the fattiness and compliment your food. With sushi I’d go with a still water. When pairing water with food go with complimenting. Heavier, stronger dishes want a bolder water. Lighter, delicate dishes work well with still water. Dishes you would pair with a sparkling wine like Prosecco go well with small bubbles in the water.
Aside from bubbles there are 2 other aspects to consider when serving water. TDS or total dissolved solids which tells a lot about the mineral content of the water, giving you a hint of the slightly salty taste and heavier mouthfeel you’ll get from the bottle. Therefor giving you a guideline for pairings. For example Fiji still water has a TDS of 160 opposed to San Pellegrinos 1109.
pH levels which give you an understanding of the water being either more acidic (sour) or alkalinic (bitter). You already know that acidic dishes and fatty dishes prefer more acidic beverages, since that’s what you think of when choosing a wine. San Pellegrino’s pH is 7.7 making it a slightly alkalinic water, while Perrier has a pH of 5.5 which offers a slightly acidic spectrum.
So next time you host a dinner party surprise your guests with your knowledge of water, serve each course with a perfect water match. Taking your dinner party skills to another level and offering something your guests probably have never experienced before.