Water sommelier Martin Riese is in the business of H2O appreciation. Prepare to become a more discriminating drinker.
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For Martin Riese, still or sparkling is just the beginning: Certified as a water sommelier by the German Mineral Water Trade Association, Riese recently created a water menu for Ray’s & Stark Bar in Los Angeles. “Water is not just water,” says Riese, whose 45-page menu features 20 different bottles from ten different countries.
The menu created a splash when it first launched this summer, and Riese says diners appreciate the idea: When guests sit down and page through a list of bottles, they’re thinking more about hydration and less about hangovers. We asked Riese, who approaches H20 with the same passion and attention to detail that an oenophile selects wine, to choose the right bottle of water for every occasion.
After a workout
“Gerolsteiner from Germany has high levels of total dissolved solids, or TDS, which means it has a high mineral content. It also has a good amount of carbon dioxide, which makes for big, refreshing bubbles.”
Keep at your desk
“Badoit from franc is easy to drink, because it has very tiny bubbles and a good amount of minerals to keep you energized at your desk. Plus, the magnesium content helps you relax and concentrate.”
In place of a cocktail
“Vichy Catalan from Spain has a unique taste thanks to the total dissolved solids, so it’s great to drink on its own.” You can also use it to give a simple cocktail a more complex taste: Combine with a clear liquor and a splash of fresh fruit juice, suggests Riese.
Pair with vegetables
“Iskilde from Denmark is a great water for a vegetarian mushroom dish because it has earthy taste notes. Beverly Hills 90H20 is the perfect pairing for a seasonal salad because it will cut through the acidity of a vinaigrette dressing and help balance out the flavors.”
Keep by your bed
“Fiji water is refreshing but has a very smooth taste with a good amount of total dissolved solids to supply your body with some minerals first thing when you wake up. Try a glass of cold Fiji water before you drink coffee — the cold helps soothe the stomach so you don’t react to caffeine.”