Water Sommelier Jessica Altieri Word of The Day: Terroir
Terroir: Water as Well as Wine?
Terroir and wine go hand in hand. Let’s talk to a Certified Water Sommelier from prestigious Doemens Academy in Germany. The way in which the geographic region affects the flavor and properties of wine, is also very, very similar to water.
Who knew there was so much to learn about water? The strange thing is that we should expect there would be this much and more to learn about water. It’s what makes up 60% of the human body. It’s the single most important substance we need in order to live. It’s life-giving, life-saving, and it covers 71% of the earth’s surface. Water is so important. So, maybe we should start acting like it, huh? And I’m not just saying this as a water sommelier who is, honestly, proud to be somewhat of a water nerd; I say this as a human being who understands the degree to which the health and wellbeing of humankind depends on water.
Whether you’re wondering what water to pair with dinner so you can best enjoy your meal or you’re on a quest for the best water to replenish your electrolytes after a workout, bring this knowledge to every water-related decision you make. Make those decisions delicious.
As you might imagine, we could apply terroir to any number of foods and drinks. However, products that don’t spend a lot of time in contact with the land – marrying and melding with its minerals and rainfall, landscape and soil – really can’t be said to have terroir in the same way.
Water’s Terroir: Really a Thing?
While we think of water as a one-and-done ingredient, the same the world over with the exception of some funny smells in some areas, that’s not true at all. Water isn’t as simple as good or bad, dirty or clean. You can’t simply nod in approval or dismiss in disgust.
Water, as much as wine or any other ingredient, has a strong element of terroir. Let’s just consider the elements.
Elements of Terroir
The main components of terroir are all represented in the waters of the world, especially those that are bottled for consumption. Climate: check. Everything is subject to weather. Soil and terrain: check. All water flows through them to end up underground, mingling with minerals. Tradition: check. Many of the great water companies will tell you exactly how they harvest their water right on their websites. Terroir: check.
Water has it in spades.
What Is A Water Sommelier
A Water Sommelier is someone educated on the properties of water and the elements that affect it. Training includes identification of the terroir, which is the manner in which the geographic region affects the flavor and properties of the water before settling in the location from which it is sourced for drinking. Different terroirs produce varying levels of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium. These minerals, which are present at different levels based on geography and other factors, have a marked impact on the taste and mouthfeel of water.