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Idro sommelier, a professional figure that will become more and more important

In our imagination, the sommelier is that mysterious figure who completes haute cuisine with the elegance of knowing him. Undoubtedly linked to the world of wine, today there is also a water sommelier, the hydro-sommelier. The food and wine experience to be lived as such and which can therefore leave an important mark in our memory needs to have that touch almost of a work of art; this is the food pairing that takes care of this, which more and more often today is not only with wine but also with water. It is no longer so difficult, in fact, to find an increasing number of excellent restaurants that have, alongside the wine list, also the water list. If for wine perhaps we are getting used to the superfine noses and palates of sommeliers thanks to whom we follow that endless circle of worlds almost imperceptible to us mere mortals, for water it is a little different. At this point we choose to detach ourselves from the figure of the wine sommelier and to deepen that of the water sommelier.

What exactly does the water sommelier do? How do you become a hydro-sommelier? What prospect and future does this work have?

First of all, we must start from the consideration that water has different flavors and tastes. Responsible for this diversity are the various degrees of its minerality. The territory is consequently a fundamental element and a marker of these processes and flavors. These intertwining, together with chemical-physical processes, determine the personality and character of the water. Based on this, if a water has low minerality, it can be combined with seafood appetizers, if it is richer in minerality, it can be combined with lasagna.

Generally, there are four basic flavors of mineral water: tending to salty, acidic, sweet and bitter. It is therefore not true that water tastes nothing! And to mark this importance is the ever-increasing number of hydro-sommeliers that catering in Italy and abroad is requesting. In perspective, therefore, it is a sought-after job today and will be increasingly so in the future. To achieve the title of hydro-sommelier, it is necessary to undertake a training course in which water tasting techniques are accompanied by theory and specialized preparation. In Italy, in addition to others, the ADAM-Mineral Water Taster Association issues a recognized title.

To think that the word sommelier, so elegant and rich in knowledge, derives from an ancient Provençal word, saumalier which literally means “handler of beasts of burden” and in speech it would have taken on the meaning of pack animal, in short, donkey! Over time, however, this little word went to indicate a real profession: from 1600 up to the entire Ancien Regime, the sommelier was the curator of the king’s table and cellar! It was the 1800s that gave the sommelier work related only to wine and today it has also been extended to that of water and, to be honest, also to that of beer. From the king’s stable to starred restaurants! A nice walk, isn’t it?

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