antipodes water review

Does Water Really Matter in Fine Dining?

by Zoe Bowker

We demystify the complexities of the oft-overlooked element on the table…

When it comes to fine dining, I’m sure most of us would agree that every element on the plate matters, but we’ve discovered recently that that philosophy should extend even to the water being served. It may sound surprising (it was to us), but the water served alongside a meal can significantly impact the overall taste experience of the food and wine served. With the rise of Water Sommeliers and Water Menus, it seems that water has never been hotter…or more appropriately, cooler.

We’ve swilled, sipped, and taste-tested, and what we discovered was, really, quite remarkable. As we’ve delved into the world of water and the science behind what gives each water its unique taste profile and characteristics, we’ve been surprised by how just technical the humble hydrator can get. In Dubai, we’ve noticed that some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants have chosen to serve Antipodes water (such as the Michelin-starred Moonrise, Tresind Studio and Ossiano), and after our research, we’ve learned it’s for good reason. We always loved the brand with its iconic black and white bottles and because, like us, it hails from New Zealand – but now we’ve gotten to the bottom of what makes it possibly the world’s finest water to accompany fine food and wine.

So we get that the water you choose matters – but why?

Purity First

One of the reasons why Antipodes water is so prized in the fine dining world is due to its purity. Sourced from a natural aquifer (that’s a spring where the water is forced to the surface by nature itself), Antipodes water is exceptionally pure and requires only a simple microfiltration before bottling. Unlike many other bottled waters that undergo industrial cleansing and processing (don’t be fooled by purified tap waters, something we learned from Tik-Tok water sommelier superstar, Martin Reise), Antipodes uses a state-of-the-art bottling line and rigorous quality testing to ensure that the water in each bottle remains unaltered from its original purity.

Minerality Matters

In addition to its purity, Antipodes is famous for its unique taste profile, owing to its low mineral content. We’ve learned that when it comes to mineral content, less is best if you’re choosing a water to accompany food and wine. Antipodes contains just 130 milligrams of minerals per litre, primarily composed of silica – and this is where the type of minerals comes into play (just to further complicate things!). It’s this silica that gives Antipodes its signature silky texture and almost imperceptible flavour that is perfect for refreshing the palate between bites and providing a neutral palate canvas that allows for unadulterated flavours. We were fascinated to discover that mineral waters that have a high calcium content can detrimentally affect the taste of fine wines. This is primarily because calcium, a hard mineral, interacts with the wine’s tannins and acidity, creating an undesirable shift in flavour profile. The taste of a well-crafted Cabernet Sauvignon or a subtle Chardonnay, for instance, could be undermined by a mineral water high in calcium. This interaction can lead to tannins and acidity being amplified (and not in a good way), altering the carefully balanced composition of the wine and veiling the true character of the vintage. By choosing Antipodes, with its low calcium and TDS, chefs and sommeliers can ensure that the wine’s authentic taste and the winemaker’s intended experience are preserved. What’s more, Antipodes water has a pH-neutral 7.0, which further contributes to its unique, clean taste.

Awards + Accolades

While the restaurants that choose Antipodes have plenty of awards to their credit, Antipodes has stacked up a few of their own over the years, being one of the most awarded waters at the prestigious Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the world’s leading mineral water competition.

But is it Sustainable?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that perhaps shipping water from the other side of the world might not be the best thing for the planet. Thankfully, Antipodes have thought of everything, with a strong commitment to sustainability that runs through their entire operation. Antipodes is Carbon-Zero certified to table, anywhere in the world – something we think is fantastic (and enables us to enjoy our kiwi water sans-guilt)! What’s more, they bottle their water to order, ensuring that they take only what they need from the precious resource. Additionally, their aquifer naturally replenishes at a rate that can never be matched, which means that we can enjoy their water with a clear conscience.

Enquire about serving Antipodes water in your venue

Find out more about Antipodes water here

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