We are all familiar with the wine snob. You know, the ones you go to dinner with and cringe when the wine menu is handed over. They painstakingly look it over, commentating on each and every one that they have tried....."this one is smoky, this one is oak-y"...... well the same seems to have become true for water. Here's a tidbit from a recent article from msnbc.com that discusses just how far this bottled water phenomenon has gone.
"Every good sommelier tells you a little story about the wine he or she is pouring you. Does it make the wine taste better? No. Does it make the wine feel more special and unique? Absolutely. The same is true for water: Sharing the story of the water its source and origin, vintage, and the location and circumstances of its bottling can contribute significantly to the overall experience."
To quote William Shakespeare, " What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet". With that in mind, when dining in a fine restaurant, no one wants to run the risk of being snubbed by the waiter (or water sommelier at that!) for ordering shall we dare say......still tap water... especially in this gourmet culture. In sharp contrast to the previous article that tends to glamorize the consumption of bottled water, an article found on BusinessWeek.com states,
"When you buy single-serve bottles of water, your money is actually purchasing water regulated less than tap, plus advertising. For that, you’ll pay more than three times for H2O what you pay for gasoline—$12 per gallon.
Single-serving bottled water costs up to 4,000 times as much as tap water." It goes on to say, "In addition, billions of bottles end up in the ground every year. Sadly, only 20% ever get recycled, according to the Container Recycling Institute. The other 80%? Besides landfills, many bottles end up in oceans, posing a risk to marine life. By purchasing bottled water, you’re indirectly raising the price of gasoline and contributing to global climate change.".
When dining with friends,resist the temptation to order from "the list", and just order water. When entertaining guests at home, pull from your dusty collection of unique pitchers and serve refreshing chilled water. Homemade flavored water served as an alternative to plain water is as easy as adding a few of these natural ingredients:
lemon or lime twists
small pieces of fruit (kiwi is a good choice)
a mint leaf (or two)
slices of cucumber
an edible flower (lavender is a good choice)
Served properly, your guests will forget they are drinking tap water!