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Water Can Enhance Or Ruin The Wine Tasting Experience! Learn To Pair Wine & Water Perfectly

Water Can Enhance Or Ruin The Wine Tasting Experience! Learn To Pair Wine & Water Perfectly

Did you know that water can make or break your wine-tasting experience? Water with the right minerals and pH levels makes all the difference to your wine tasting sesh. 

Wine tasting comes with many unspoken rules and social etiquettes. But many of these rules are in place to ensure you have the best of times while tasting wines. Palate cleansing with water and rinsing wine glasses are some of the key processes one must be careful about.

Importance Of Water In Wine Tasting

Water affects the smell and taste of wine, due to its chemical composition. When you use water with a chemical composition that doesn't match the wine, it can deteriorate the flavour and fragrance of the drink. Hard water tends to deposit minerals calcium and magnesium in the wine, which alters its taste, making it more bitter. If the water is too acidic, then it impacts the pH of the wine as well and makes it taste sour.  

Tips To Ensure Water Has The Right Qualities For Wine Tasting

  • Do not use softened water as water softeners use sodium to remove minerals from it. This makes the water salty and also alters the pH of the wine.
  • Do not use tap water, even if you filter it. Filtered tap water retains the taste of the molecules which impacts the wine's flavours.
  • Use bottled mineral water, based on the type of wine you are tasting.

Water Can Enhance Or Ruin The Wine Tasting Experience! Learn To Pair Wine & Water Perfectly

Guidelines To Pair Different Types Of Water To Different Kinds Of Wine

Fresh, Fruity Whites, Rosé

White wines and rosé are light and high mineral and carbonated water can dominate its flavour. So opt for low mineral pH balanced still water.

Young Reds and Full-Bodied Wines

Sparkling water pairs best with young reds and full-bodied wines. The intense, fruity fragrances, acidity, salinity and high tannin levels of red wines enhances the gustatory persistence on the drinker's mouth and stops salivation. It gives the drinker's tongue a sensation of dryness and a touch of bitterness for a few seconds. A sip of sparkling mineral water which has CO2 (carbon dioxide) immediately opens the papilla, and resumes the salivation. The mineral water also harmonises with the structure of red wine which creates a very pleasant taste in the mouth.

Champagne 

The minerality of water makes the most difference in wines that have a subtle taste. Hence, for champagnes, choose still water with low minerals.

Water Can Enhance Or Ruin The Wine Tasting Experience! Learn To Pair Wine & Water Perfectly

Tips To Get The Best Out Of Water And Wine Pairing

  • Chill water to 13°C before serving. This is the temperature of most springs and also the temperature of most underground wine cellars. 
  • Serve sparkling water at close to room temperature for champagne.
  • Use ice made out of antipodes water (pristine water, naturally filtered through dense ignimbrite rock, its age when bottled is between 50 and 300 years. It has low natural minerality and is composed mainly of silica. Tap water ice dilutes the natural water as it melts.
  • Water should be served in a goblet for a formal setting. These goblets are shorter than wine glasses and will avoid confusion. 
  • In an informal setting, a tumbler is better suited.
  • Sip water and wine alternatively as this will bring out the best qualities from both the drink. Because, sipping alternatively ensures that neither of the drinks overpowers the other.
  • Stay hydrated as alcohol dehydrates your body and also reduces your sensitivity to taste and smell. 
  • While it's great to learn about alcoholic beverages, it is important to also consume alcohol moderately. Remember to serve and drink responsibly to ensure you and your guests are healthy and out of harm's way. If you know anyone who has trouble controlling their alcohol intake, please refer them to a professional immediately.