Water sommelier gets paid to taste water

Los Angeles,Oct5:You might think you have a high-paying and relaxing job, but what you do for a living is nothing compared to what Martin Riese does.

Yes, you read that right. Riese is a German water expert, and believes that water should be treated the same way as wine. What does that mean? Well, if we can go around tasting varieties of wine, measuring and comparing the depth of their flavour, then why can’t we do the same thing with bottled water?

So, instead of a wine sommelier (a steward or expert trained in wine services), Riese is actually a water sommelier. What makes his taste buds tingle is nothing less than H2O, which might come in differently-shaped bottles, and look clear and pure, but it’s actually nothing of the kind.

Not many people know that bottled water or mineral water is actually graded according to their TDS level. TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids, or the mineral count in the water we drink. What this essentially means is that there is no bottled water that is pure (though it might look like it). In this day and age, water is treated, has differing mineral counts, and therefore different tastes. A water sommelier is just trained to identify these differences.

All you need to be good at this job is an unquenchable thirst for water. Riese is the only one who holds the title of water sommelier in the USA, where he moved from Germany in 2012. Apparently, water sommeliers are quite common in Europe, and all of them advocate water as the most precious drink in the world (now you just can’t disagree with that!).

Martin Riese holds water tastings and classes in Los Angeles, to teach people how to identify different kinds of water. Photo: Reuters

Water has body, and depth–we all know this every time we drink some of it. But if the water sommeliers like Riese are to be believed, it has a lot to do with smell and sight as well as taste. Given the rising water crises we face globally, and our increasing dependence on packaged water, developing this sort of a flavour profile might just be the way to go for the future. And experts like Riese are actually doing their part in this venture.

Participants in Riese’s water tastings are asked to describe the flavour of the water they drink. Photo: Reuters

Riese now works with the Patina Restaurant Group in Los Angeles, California, where he serves bottled water to discerning customers, organises water tastings, and participates in international competitions. What’s the best perk he gets from his unique job? He’s always hydrated (which means he must have really good skin, hair, and kidney functions, to say the least). And trust us, that’s just the kind of job that keeps one healthy and happy.

Watch this short film made on Martin Riese’s work, here:

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