The Water Sommelier

Martin Riese is a sommelier. But not for wine. Or beer. Or any other beverage you typically would think requires an impeccable palate and expert recommendation. No, Riese is a water sommelier — and one of the best in a small, but quickly growing field. (The Wall Street Journal has called him “The world’s foremost water sommelier.”) Riese’s crusade? To taste, analyze, judge and spread the word about the different flavors of water he believes should be savored like a fine wine. Normally, he does so as head of the water program at Patina, a French restaurant in downtown L.A., but recently, he traveled to China to participate in a first of its kind water competition and trade show. MEL Films tagged along to better understand how, as Riese says, “Water is not just water.”

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