We opted for Italian whites for this session, with Nicolas selecting:
- Gavi, 'Costa Mazzana', Piedmont, 2007 (Cortese)
- Pinot Grigio, Linea Classica, Alto Adige, 2007
- Fiano di Avellino, Campania, 2007
- Lugana DOC, S. Cristina, 'Vigneto Massoni', Veneto, 2007 (Trebbiano di Lugana)
The toughest to match was the Pinot Grigio, with subtle flavours and tones of peach flesh. The French naturally sparkling water showed best with this as it had done with the Heller Estate Chenin Blanc.
We noted that some sparkling waters reacted with the wines in such a way that they 'froth' up on the palate. This is a largely unpleasant reaction which isn't desireable in a sparkling water.
With regards to our anaysis of the waters, it also began to dawn on us that a simple 'yes/no', as we had been opting for up to this point may not be adequate in matching wines and waters. The subtleties of taste experiences that we were beginning to understand demanded a more thorough points assignment.
Particularly important, was the agreement that any water scoring 16 or greater is deemed to enhance the wine being consumed, either in part, or as a whole. Progressing with this understanding is a vital piece of information for Aqua Amore and the wine trade, as this key category is what we shall be looking for in order to pair and recommend on wine menus. This is what will enhance drinkers' experience and facilitate the realisation that mineral waters have an irrefutable place in fine dining as a result of their unique qualities. As Roberto has labelled the category of 16-20, in all his wisdom - "top bollocks!".
In the meantime, Dr. Raj jad been fine tuning his palate to both waters and wines. He offered to take the mineral content of the waters and the scores to date in order to run them through a statistical analysis cofigurator and analyse the information for trends and permutations, that may assist us in understanding and predicting which waters will match particular wines. We're really looking forward to receiving this information, so until then:
With regards to Dr. Raj's opinion on whether his taste experience of the wine was altered in different degrees - it was an unequivocal yes. This is importants, as it represents the experience of someone who has no specialisation or great experience in wines or water. He could represent the type of customer who wishes to enjoy a meal in a fine dining restaurant and upon taking the advice of the sommelier, would taste the benefit of having had a fine water with his selection of wine.