Bottled Water of the World: quite possibly the biggest and most comprehensive resource of bottled water there is. Pretty much every bottled water available is categorised, analysed and describ-ised in a handy database that reveals such beautiful bottles as Bling H2O, the pop-culture water bottle that was first only made available to hand-selected Hollywood actors and Aquadeco, which as the name suggests, comes in an exquisite art deco glass bottle.
The website is certainly worth a visit, as it does speak a lot about the defining characteristics of various bottled water varieties. Say the authors:
Water is not Water. At first glance, waters may not seem to have the individual characteristics that distinguish wines, but distinct differences become apparent when the attention is focused on water. Like wine, water has terroir and it is a natural product that originates from a particular place with unique properties. That is of course if you drink premium bottled water.
The authors analyse and rate water bottles according to flavour, hardness and vintage (among other criteria). What’s interesting is that the ‘bottled water etiquette’ they espouse touches on the difference between drinking bottled water from a glass or plastic bottle – even if it’s for appearances only:
For high-end bottled waters, the glass bottle is a must. If you want to drink the still water from an ugly plastic bottle in an epicurean context, decant it or put the bottle into a sleeve.
There’s an interesting section on the glass vs plastic taste debate, where the authors mention that they’ve found no evidence of any taste difference between glass and plastic. On a scientific level, there is indeed a difference, but on a personal taste level, the jury is still out.
What say you?