How to Master the Art of Sparkling Water

2012 is the year of sparkling water

You open the refrigerator and glare at the reserve bottle of rosé. But no, you will not succumb to cravings, for in the new year, you’re going to want to skip out on the notes of raspberry and oak and opt for undertones of liquid and wet instead.

Recently, I found myself at a sparkling water party, featuring the bubbles of three different continents and some 10 countries. Though the event was to raise funds for a good cause, the environmentalist in me couldn’t help but cringe, and not just when the bubbles tickled my nose. On the other hand, or perhaps I should say in the other hand, the foodie in me giggled!

Specialty sparkling water has taken the same route as wine did in the days when shoulder pads were still acceptable in the workplace, leaving longtime favorites Perrier and San Pellegrino in the dust. Still on the green bottles? You might as well be chugging Two Buck Chuck.

It’s time for a change, and change this year is going to start with your sparkling water cellar. Isn’t that refreshing? It could also be cooling, or even energizing. At the very least, it will add some effervescence to your everyday routine.

The possibilities with sparkling water are endless, and unlike its sparkling alcoholic counterpart, it won’t leave you with a headache. It’s even good for your teeth. Besides, Paris puts it in their water fountains. Sort of socialist, really, but the idea is still nice.

With a nose for bubbling trends, trust Foodie Underground to guide you through the business of consuming packaged, pricey water with only the most prudent use of puns.


1. Start your research by consulting an expert.

Just as you wouldn’t pair your fennel filet mignon with an accompanying cabernet without the guidance of a sommelier, consult a sparkling water expert until you feel comfortable navigating the carbonated world on your own. Feeling like I was drowning in a vast new pool of bubbly information, I did just that, speaking with sparkling water expert Michael Mascha. Says Mascha, "The good thing if you become aware of premium bottled waters is that you don’t have to choose one best water. You can enjoy many different waters for different occasions and food pairings. As always, one should be aware if the water is naturally or artificially carbonated."

2. Choose your regions according to personal taste.

Just like wine, the terroir of a sparkling water is so key, and you’ll have to decide if you’re more of an Alps kind of foodie or have a little more low-key, New Zealand style. Notes Mascha, "I love sparkling water and prefer it with tiny and small bubbles but sometimes a bold sparkling water can be the best match."