This past weekend I was in Las Vegas…not to gamble but to do some yoga with an incredibly gifted teacher, Olga Sam at Blue Sky Yoga…but I am getting off track…
I’ve been working too hard lately and this was a chance to get away even if for only a day. I treated myself to dinner at Morton’s, the infamous steak house. I know, many of you don’t eat red meat and I’ll lose traction on that, but stick with me for a moment.
My waitress offered me tap or bottled water. I asked if the tap water was filtered and she said yes. So I requested that. I tasted it and it tasted horrible. It left an aftertaste that was dirty, like old dishwater. Of course Las Vegas drinks Colorado River water and carbon filters don’t lower the mineral content (tds) or eliminate the radioactive metals or pharmaceutical waste.
Colorado River water in Lake Mead where Las Vegas draws its water has a tds of 635, too high for drinking in my opinion (http://www.swhydro.arizona.edu/archive/V4_N2/feature7.pdf), but the other contaminants contribute to bad taste as well.
So I told her it tasted horrible and I would like bottled water.
She offered me my favorite: Aqua Panna from Italy. This is sweet tasting spring water with a tds of 144. It is by far the best tasting water I know. (http://www.mineralwaters.org/index.php?func=disp&parval=45)
So I drank Aqua Panna before dinner and with my salad.
But when my steak arrived I asked for San Pellegrino, an effervescent mineral water with a tds of 960. The heavy bubbly taste paired well with the heaviness of the steak. (http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/beverages/waters/san-pellegrino.asp). Unlike the tap water San Pellegrino had a sharp crisp clean taste which was augmented by the carbonation. It was a delicious combination with my main course.
Another interesting mineral water is Perrier with a tds of 475. It would combine perfectly with a dinner of a moderate heaviness, such as a Swordfish.
So, yes, while I have revealed to you my favorite bottled water I only drink Aqua Panna when I am in a restaurant. When I travel I drink a local spring water.
The lesson today is that you can pair water with the courses of a meal in the same way you can pair wine. I really hope you’ll try it. You’ll find a pleasant new place for water at your dinner table. It is a delightful experiment though not as interesting as tasting a fine wine. Still we can learn to appreciate the qualities of water like the qualities of wine. There is nothing so pleasing as to drink tap water that’s been filtered correctly.
Bottled water is wasteful environmentally, but rumors of contamination are exaggerated and often incorrect. The bottled water industry takes care to provide you with high quality products. The one danger in my view is the plastic container it comes in. I NEVER drink bottled water that has been sitting in the sun.
You can learn more about bottled water here.
Of course I recommend that you drink appropriately filtered tap water at home. For Las Vegas and cities with a tds over 250 I recommend reverse osmosis for drinking because it will filter down the tds and remove the undesirable contaminants, leaving you with light clean tasting water.