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The Real Difference Between Bottled Waters, According To A Water Sommelier

For most of us, water is just water. It’s a tasteless, odorless liquid that we drink when we’re thirsty. But the truth is, that assumption is quite the opposite of reality.

There’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to water. In a sense, drinking water can be treated like wine, meaning the place of origin, distillation process and even age of the water has a profound impact on the water’s taste, smell and character.

Considering the vast number of options when it comes to purchasing water, it’s almost impossible to differentiate one bottled water from another — without looking at the price tag.

So, in order to educate ourselves about the complexities of bottled drinking water, we sought the help of Martin Riese – America’s only water sommelier – to help break down what makes one brand of drinking water more superior than another.

While simply drinking water may seem like an effortless activity, Riese explained that human body is wired to absorb the natural minerals and nutrients present. Just as we eat food for nutrition, it’s important to understand that water contains the same essential elements that tremendously benefit our bodies.

For Riese, spring water is the primary choice for drinking and encourages consumers to become familiar with the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) factor. The TDS rating is an indicator of the strength of water’s mineral content, taste and texture. 

FIJI Natural Artesian Water, for example, has a TDS of 222, which yields a very smooth, yet velvety texture with a hint of taste.

While every individual’s preferences will be different when it comes to water, Riese suggested tasting a wide spectrum of waters with varying TDS levels, in order to accommodate to your palate.

“Water is the most important beverage in our lives, and without water we wouldn’t be on this planet,” Reise said.

With that, let’s ensure we take time to honor water, for the beautiful and nourishment it provides.   

Photos by Peter Pham


Created in partnership with FIJI Natural Artesian Water    

By FIJI Water

On a remote Pacific island, 1,600 miles from the nearest continent, equatorial trade winds purify the clouds that begin FIJI® Water’s journey through one of the world’s last virgin ecosystems. As tropical rain falls on a pristine rain forest, it filters through layers of volcanic rock, slowly gathering the natural minerals and electrolytes that give FIJI Water its soft, smooth taste. The water collects in a natural artesian aquifer, deep below the Earth’s surface, shielded from external elements by confining layers of rock. Natural pressure forces the water towards the surface, where it’s bottled at the source, free from human contact until you unscrew the cap. Untouched by man™. Earth's Finest Water®.