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Now that we know why conduct a water tasting, we'll learn how to get through the proper tasting.
To conduct a correct sensorial analysis of waters, one must have all of the necessary tools at his disposal:
- a sufficient number of glasses with the proper shape so that each sample has its own tasting glass
- a tasting charts and a pen
- a carafe of tap water.
The process used to conduct a tasting is very rigorous as it has been carefully designed so as to allow for the perception of each nuance to be found in a water.
- As soon as the bottle is opened, pour the water into the appropriate glass. Fill the glass around 1/3 of the way up. Then take a generous sip of the water and immediately make an assessment of its freshness.
- Empty the remaining water from the glass and fill it once again 1/3 of the way up. First raise the glass to eye level and then lower it so as to observe the water from above. Horizontal and vertical evaluations of the water will allow for the identification of any foreign particles of abnormal colours. Most importantly, it will also allow the taster to appreciate the effervescence of sparkling water.
- Raise the glass up under your nose and breathe in deeply at regular intervals. This step is to be repeated several times. If possible, it is to be done with one's eyes shut in order to raise one's concentration as much as possible so as to obtain olfactory responses even in the presence of a single aroma molecule.
- Take a sip of the sample amounting to around 15 ml. Allow it to rest on the tongue, then distribute throughout the mouth. Lead the water to the back portion of the tongue and swallow. This process allows for the evaluation of acidity, sapidity, structure, lightness and mouthfeel.
- Once again, take a generous sip of the water, allowing to rest on your tongue. Allow a small quantity of air into your mouth and exhale through your nose. Lead the water to the back portion of your tongue and swallow. The gustative-olfactory analysis will determine balance and persistence.
- Rinse your mouth with tap water and proceed with the analysis of the following sample.
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.