WATER & WINE
A good composition thrives on interpretation. Wine and water are such an alliance.
ALL IN ALL, THE RIGHT WATER MEANS THE MAXIMUM INDULGENCE
Total indulgence and the best possible taste are a result of teamwork and the ability of the artists. The conductor is a sommelier who understands wine just as well as water and presents both components in an equally worthy manner.
Selecting the right water to serve with wine is still a relatively young discipline. We have learned that the shape and weight of the wine glass play a part in the overall enjoyment. We also know what wine should be served with red meat or fish. Attentive cellar masters recommend different types of mineral water to match the colour of the wine, and often specific places of origin. Wine stewards have long since become sommeliers. Indeed, the search for the perfect symbiosis of wine and water for unforgettable pleasure requires real expertise.
Peter H. Müller is one such pioneer. He was previously in charge of the wine cellar at the legendary "Taubenkobel". Now, he is a culinary traveller and deals with wine – and water. We meet him in Burgenland. An unparalleled combination of lime, mica slate and loam prepares the soil for special wines. "But the right water doesn't grow here", says Müller sadly, and laughs. So how can one obtain the right water to serve with wine? How can one choose the perfect match between still, medium or fizzy water and dry, tangy or sweet wines? Which minerals, with their own specific taste can ensure the wine drinker a whole new type of indulgence?
PAIRING WATER AND WINE FOR THE UTMOST INDULGENCE
It is not possible to enjoy wine to the full without pairing it with the right water. "It's like a puzzle made up of lots of pieces. If a few of these pieces don't match or if they are missing, if the picture is not complete, it makes a bad impression. One small element decides on the beauty of a large whole, completes it or destroys it", says Peter H. Müller. But how does the perfect puzzle of water and wine fit together?
GENERAL RULES FOR INDULGENCE
The more acidic the wine, the less carbon dioxide should be contained in the water served with it. This means that a Riesling should be served with still water, or at least one that is only slightly fizzy and moderately mineralised. Tanning acids, phenols and tannins in wine are also more digestible with still water. This applies to most red wines.
SPARKLING ALLOWED WITH DESSERTS
Light red wines with a lower tannic acid and alcohol content can be enjoyed with a lightly sparkling water rich in minerals. This also applies to dessert / sweet wines. Whether the water served should be sparkling and rich in minerals depends on the sugar content of the wine: a medium sparkling water should be served with a less sweet Riesling Kabinett or Spätlese. For those who prefer sparkling and mineralised water, we recommend a well-chilled dessert wine. Finally, Peter H. Müller points out that water also has a clarifying function. A wine with lots of tannic acids and a high density tends to coat the oral cavity. "In this case, water has a neutralising effect."