Move over wine – Water’s taking over Australia’s restaurant scene
For years, there have been just two kinds of water at restaurants – still and sparkling – but this is no longer the case. While wines vary based on the grapes used and how they’re fermented, waters have their own unique mineral composition, created by the rock or soil that the water runs through. Like wine, water can have complex tastes and flavours, which explains why water connoisseurs and sommeliers are becoming more and more popular in Australia’s food and wine circles. Here are some of the top questions people are asking about the art of water tasting:
What makes an excellent water?
Like wines, one size does not fit all when assessing what defines a good or excellent water. Waters can come in a range of unique flavours and textures, from salty to acidic, fruity, bitter or a combination, which means personal preference plays a big role in how we taste it. pH levels also have a large influence on the way water tastes. For example, waters that are slightly basic or alkaline will be sweeter, while acidic waters will have more of a sour taste. This is why matching your water to its most complimentary food or beverage is very important.
What kinds of foods pair with which waters?
Just like a good wine, certain waters can bring out flavours and enhance the taste of food. With water, the texture is one of the most important elements to consider for food pairing. Extremely carbonated water can overpower subtly flavoured dishes but work extremely well with crispy foods like lettuce or potato chips. Sparkling waters also fare particularly well as palate cleansers and thirst quenchers. Mineral levels are another important consideration for water pairing. Fatty foods, red meat or hard and strong cheeses pair well with water with a high mineral content, which brings out their bold flavours. On the other hand, waters with a low mineral content pair well with crispy fresh vegetables, helping to the neutralise the acidity.
What kinds of wines pair with which waters?
When it comes to wines, the intensity of the water’s flavour should match that of the wine. This means an intense wine requires an equally strong-tasting water and vice versa. Also, generally, whites pair better with still, pH-neutral waters that have a low mineral content, while reds pair best with still waters with a mid-to-high mineral content depending on their texture and flavour. Don’t be shy to mix up the sparking and still varieties of water to ensure a range of textures and sensations. Remember, wines, water and food work best in harmony, so get pairing!
Highlands Water has been acclaimed by the prestigious International Taste & Quality Institute, a body of Michelin starred chefs and sommeliers. As the first and only Australian water to win the Superior Taste Award or to receive three Gold Stars by the ITQI judging panel, Highlands is truly a world-class water. For more information about Highlands Mineral Water and what food and beverages it pairs best with, contact us today.
Photo sourced from Benjamin Voros