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May Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 385 company, Gerolsteiner Sprudel, was shipping its product in clay jugs to locations as far away as Australia by 1895. Described as “the treasure of the Volcanic Eifel”, Gerolsteiner, like all natural mineral waters, benefits from the geology of the region in which it is found. In this case, calcium- and magnesium-enriched dolomite bedrock and carbonic acid combine in a unique manner resulting in 2,500 mg/l of minerals. These are only the most well-known brands. Closer to home Nanton Water & Soda Ltd., nestled in the Alberta foothills, was one of the first companies in Canada to bottle and sell natural spring water. Nanton water is known for its unique blend of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Jackson Springs Water is a naturally occurring spring water sourced from a private aquifer secluded in the heart of three provincial forests in southeastern Manitoba. To hell with centuries of European culture—the aquifer is a remnant of the last ice age and is over 13,000 years old. In 2012, Jackson Springs Water won the gold medal for best-tasting water in the world at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition. This was seen as a travesty to some because Jackson Springs Water is entirely still. “Water tasting competition?”, you ask? Of course. Waters have different subtle tastes and terroir determined in large measure by the minerals they contain. Minerality is measured by mg/l and is called total dissolved solids (“TDS”) or dry residue. Minerality ranges from super low (0–50mg/l) to very high (1,500 mg/l and over). It is only one of eight tasting profiles for water: balance, virginality, minerality, orientation, hardness, vintage and carbonation. When it comes to vintage, the age of bottled water should be noted. Very young water and bottled rain waters do not have time to absorb minerals and so they tend to have low TDS levels and light, clean tastes. Old water tends to be more substantial due to the higher minerality. Hardness refers to the calcium and magnesium levels in a glass of water, whereas orientation is concerned with the pH (potential hydrogen) factor, which measures the water’s level of acidity or alkalinity. Virginality indicates how well protected a water is from its surroundings. It can be determined by the water’s level of nitrate. Ratings are from “potable” to “superior”. We only drink the latter, of course, although while camping or washing in the wilderness potable will suffice. Balance refers to the level of carbonation in a given water and as we are talking about “sparkling water” here, look for “classic” or “bold” balance if you want to roll with the players. Still water has no carbonation and is to be avoided or used for brushing your teeth (a light pinot noir can be used at campsites in France where the water is not potable, but it should be spat out


May Advocate 2017
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