Water sommeliers are so 2002—by now we should all know which sparkling water goes best with foie gras. But pairing “fine wine and exquisite water” is becoming “an increasingly essential component of the meal experience,” Chef magazine reports. Another industry mag, Hotel F&B, explains that “[a]s with pairing wine and food, water should be paired to not overpower the wine.”
The inspiration for these articles is Water Codex II, recently published by—surprise, surprise—Nestlé Waters. According to the guidelines, heavy-bodied waters, which have “an abundance of fine bubbles that leave the taste buds fresh and tingling and a mild acidity that stimulates salivation,” should be paired with full-bodied, acidic, high-tannin wines. Light-bodied waters, in contrast, are still, low in acid, and relatively free of trace minerals, “thereby leaving a taste that is light, soft, and velvety”—perfect for pairing with similarly subtle wines.
Ughhhhh. I’m all for dorking out about flavors—and yeah, different waters taste different and everything—but if I start having servers try to upsell me on multiple bottled waters to go with my wine, Nestlé is going to get a piece of my mind. There has to be a limit to the number of things restaurants pressure you to buy; otherwise you might as well stay home, make your own dinner, and say no to the telemarketers instead. At least that way you’re spending less on your meal.
But perhaps this is curmudgeonly of me?