In the past weeks we've learnt why to conduct a water tasting, the perfect water tasting technique and which are the best tools for a water tasting: today it's time to talk about wine. The first written text dedicated to water and how to harmonize it with wine would have remained incomplete if certain distinguished sommeliers of national and international renown had not been invited to join in the “discussion”.
Any debate on this argument in fact involves assessing the organoleptic properties of wine and water in their entirety, as well as their innermost, recondite nuances of aroma and flavour. The sommelier is the principal professional figure equipped to make such assessments, since part of his or her professional knowhow is to distinguish and identify taste factors in infinite detail. Prompted by the need to perfect their art, sommeliers are always keen to discover products from all over the globe, be they already acclaimed or otherwise littleknown. Furthermore, owing to their unique capabilities, sommeliers also attract the attention of the client, establishing his trust and inducing him to explore memorable new experiences at the dining table.
This is why each one of the sommeliers convened chose a wine of a particular quality within a known type, describing it in technical though often surprisingly poetic terms, so as to foster greater understanding of the product, and help the newcomer to grasp the procedures for harmonizing a given wine with one of the two mineral waters discussed. While these experts have a special way of speaking of water and wine, describing with the utmost ease the exquisite properties of these two products, they have also provided some interesting pointers on the “pleasant debate” on how and where to harmonize the two. It is owing to their daily professional activity, in which they are in constant contact with the consumer, that they can successfully “relate” their remarkable new gastronomical experiences.
PHILIPPE FAURE-BRAC, Best Sommelier of the World 1992
VINTAGE PORT, Portugal
Vintage Port is a sumptuous wine with a deep and rich violet hue. First impressions include herbaceous aromas with notes of blackberry cut with points of violet, bitter chocolate, coffee, and spices. On the tongue it is assertive and in some cases offers an explosion of taste. The warm body blends marvellously with the hints of red fruits and buds, giving the wine an unusual softness and smoothes the edges of the tannins, bringing harmony. Consequently, Vintage Port requires a water with character, relatively acidic, but most of all persistent in taste, such as S.Pellegrino. The resulting match is unforgettable!
This text is taken from The S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna Water Codex, a book written by international sommelier Giuseppe Vaccarini and Claudia Moriondo (Doctorate in Food Preparation Science). With this book S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna studied and codified the guidelines, the best techniques and tools to conduct water tasting, with the aim to create a common language for everyone who whish to explore this topic.