May 10, 2024

The Art of Harmonizing Water, Wine, and Food


By Vivreau Advanced Water Systems

The Art of Water Pairing

The work of a chef can be compared to an artist, but instead of harmonizing color and tones, it’s creating a harmonious and engaging balance of flavors. Once the dish is set on the table, often the accompanying wines will also be thoughtfully considered to select one that pairs beautifully with the dish.

Interestingly, people often will overlook the water set on the table, not realizing how it also impacts the harmony of flavors experienced during a meal. As knowledge of water pairings becomes more widespread, it becomes another way to elevate the art of the dining experience and heighten the guest experience.

Water’s Profound Impact on Taste

Just as wines are not made identical and have unique flavor profiles that a discerning tongue can identify, water is also not all made equal. The chemical make-up, acidity, and flavor of water can vary tremendously from glass to glass. Some waters can be completely devoid and stripped of any minerals whatsoever with a dry mouthfeel, and others can be in high minerals (TDS – Total dissolved solids) with a thick silky mouthfeel.

Now imagine you’re about to taste the work of a culinary masterpiece created by a Michelin starred chef – but prior to taking that first bite, you take a sip of heavily chlorinated water, essentially coating your mouth with chlorine. Your ability to taste the exquisite flavors will be hampered, and the experience of the dish will be negatively impacted based on the water pairing. To improve the experience, imagine now that microfiltered water was selected instead of harsh chlorinated water. Microfiltered water has been filtered of chlorine and many other chemicals, but retains a balance of minerals. It begins to accompany the dish in a beautiful way.

Still or Sparkling?

Another consideration is if the chosen water is still or sparkling. Just as a bold red wine is suggested to accompany meals with stronger flavor profiles, and whites to accompany meals with more delicate flavors, the same can be said for still and sparkling water. It’s recommended that still water is paired with foods such as seafood, light sauces, and soft textures to help focus on the delicate flavors. A bolder sparkling water pairs well with dishes that also have a more robust flavor, such as spicy or rich flavored foods.

The Art of Water Pairing in Wine Selection

While dining you can also harmonize your wine selection to bring out the best qualities of the wine. A still water with a lower mineral content pairs well with white and rose wines with a moderate alcohol level. Full bodied red wines with intense flavors and high tannin levels pair well with sparkling waters and it’s suggested to alternate sips of water and wine for the best experience.

The beauty is in trying new things, and recommendations are never rules. Consider trying different pairings yourself to see if you can notice the difference, and you may find a pairing that speaks truly to you. At the end of the day, the enjoyment of the experience is the goal, and water pairing adds one more way to heighten the experience.

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