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Sitting Down With America’s Only Water Sommelier

Food and Drink By
(Patina Group)
(Patina Group)

Martin Riese is American’s only water sommelier. Yes, “water sommelier” is a real occupation. Riese recently completed his first water menu for Patina Restaurant Group. He argues that, much like wine, some waters are better than others with a focus on exclusivity and design. Here are Riese’s water classifications:

Purified Water: Derived from a municipal source and filtered through reverse osmosis with a minimum amount of added minerals.

Spring Water: Most honest form of water; sourced from natural springs.

Mineral Water: Comes from natural springs and has to have a mineral content, also known as TDS (total dissolved solids), of at least 250 ppm.

Distilled Water: Has many of its impurities removed through distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean container. Longterm consumption of distilled or demineralized water containing low TDS levels is not recommended; and can be linked to increased diuresis, body water volume, serum sodium concentrations, decreased serum potassium concentration—and increased elimination of sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium ions from the body. Simply put, drinking distilled water for an extended period of time can put one’s health in jeopardy.

Click here to read Riese’s full take on building out Patina Group’s water menu for Ray’s and Stark Bar in Los Angeles. Watch a video where he explains what it means to be a water sommelier below.