Let me preface his by saying I had Buffalo-Blue-Cheese cheese curls crushed into egg salad on toast for lunch & washed it down with water from our new jug system poured into an old Patriots themed Dunkin’ Donuts cup since we don’t do bottled water here anymore.
But I assure you, my own circumstances will in no way contaminate the way I view the following story about the Four Seasons Hotel’s *water sommelier.
*A water steward; a trained and knowledgeable water professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of water service as well as water and food pairing.
If you were to tell Jessica Altieri that all water tastes the same, she would be quick to correct you with an effervescent smile. The truth is, not all water is created equal. And as the Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels’ first certified water sommelier, she certainly knows what she’s talking about.
When it comes to water, there are myriad factors that differentiate one type from another. It’s similar to the way a glass of Malbec tastes very different than Pinot Noir, despite the fact they’re both red wines. Ultimately, the kind of water you choose to pair with every meal directly influences your palate and how you perceive the flavors on your plate.
I get it. Apparently the water here is what makes New York City bagels so special. And at this weird meditation thing I went to they gave me water with special mineral rocks at the bottom and it tasted just like rocks and so I knew to know that made it fancy & spiritual for some reason. And tap water down the Jersey shore makes me happy even though it tastes like salty piss because it reminds me that at least I’m at the beach. And Smart Water is cool because it’s ‘inspired by the clouds’ and Jennifer Aniston is hot. And Fiji is the best because it costs a lot and comes in a SQUARE bottle. A fucking square!
Alright, maybe I’m not taking this seriously. Hopefully they address that in the interview.
Ian Centrone (interviewer): How do you explain your job to people who have trouble grasping the concept or don’t take it seriously?
Jessica Altieri (water sommelier): A water sommelier is someone educated on the properties of water and the elements that affect it. Training includes identification of the terroir, which is the manner in which the geographic region affects the flavor and properties of the water before settling in the location from which it is sourced for drinking. Different kinds of water pair better with different types of food, just like wine.
For example, waters with low total dissolved solid (TDS) content may help strengthen flavors in desserts. To correctly recommend a water with low TDS, the water sommelier needs to know the complex profiles like acidity, minerality, pH, and TDS of the majority of the waters on hand. Not only that, but they must think of all aspects before recommending one to a client seconds after being asked. So, while those unaccustomed with fine water may mistakenly believe it to be easy, the task is actually complex and requires a vast amount of knowledge.
Just had a daydream where I had to explain what a water terroir ID is & how that effects what we’ll pair with escargot in garlic parsley butter to someone in Flint, Michigan or Sub-Saharan Africa.
But who am I to shit on a cool, skilled job or hop on a high horse, especially considering I can’t really hide that I contribute pretty much nothing to society. I don’t know enough about it & am sure there’s something to it if the Four Seasons is on board… In fact, according to Finances Online, “a study from consulting firm Zenith Global even shows that the market for expensive water brands is growing nine percent annually and is currently valued at $147 billion“.
You can even get a bottle of Beverly Hills 90H20 for an icy, cold $100K these days.
Yeesh. Guess I’ll stick with the Patriots Dunkin cups full of our normie water until I hit it big.
In closing, the best part of stumbling upon this story was being inspired for a trick that made Pat look like SUCH AN IDIOT. HA. GOT ‘IM. HAHAHA WOW, YEP, NAILED IT.