Imagine sitting down at your favorite restaurant and instead of being asked “flat or sparkling?” you’re handed an entire menu of water. Yes. Just water. This might seem like something out of an SNL sketch, but it’s exactly what’s going on right now with Patina‘s “Water 101” in Los Angeles. From now until June, this famed L.A. eatery will be hosting a series of water tasting classes downtown just beneath the auspices of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, teaching students the in and outs of what we used to think was the simplest drink ever. Just like any tasting experience, the evening will be lead by a sommelier. A certified water sommelier.

It might sound crazy, but the idea that every type of water has a distinct taste and perfect pairing might not be too far off. Just like any fruit or vegetable, the region and conditions each water is “harvested” in can greatly affect the quality and flavor of the water. Martin Riese, the certified water sommelier behind Patina’s Water 101 tastings, has explained that water can go from sweet to salty and smooth to complex just like any good wine, and that the different mineral content of each water is what gives them all a different taste.

Riese first began suggesting water pairings at his restaurant Ray’s & Stark Bar – and it intrigued guests so much he decided to host a series of small classes with Patina to “help you know your water better.” Los Angelenos were finding that yes, indeed, there was a difference between the water they drank at home, the tap water they drank at restaurants, and countless variations between the water that’s sold to us in stores. Sure, the chemical bond might be the same universally (one hydrogen, two oxygen; hence H20), but the mineral content in each sip can completely change the way you experience it. It can even – get this – affect the way your food tastes. Who knew the most basic (and most important!) element in our lives could be so complex…

Want to dive in (pun intended)? The next two Water 101 tastings are in April and June – but spaces are limited, so reserve your spot now. For $50, you’ll learn the basic fundamentals of water, decipher the myths from realities, and put your newfound knowledge to the test while sipping of five dramatically different waters. Oh, and there’s an artisanal cheese plate there, too – because, cheese.

So, readers, what say you? Would you attend a water tasting, or is this something that’s just “so L.A.?”

Patina’s “Water 101” Tasting


Patina Restaurant DTLA
141 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012


April 1st and June 3rd, 2015


Want to get your water tasting game on? Reserve your spot by emailing water101@patinagroup.com – and come thirsty!

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