Water whips wine in Sydney

Water is the new wine at a top-notch Sydney restaurant offering health-conscious customers "bold" or "velvety" varieties.

by: Pauline Askin: Reuters | 11 Aug 2008

In what appears to be a first in major wine producer Australia, Kable's restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel offers a menu of 20 types of water from around the world with descriptions that wouldn't be out of place on a fine wine menu.

"The main reason behind launching the water menu is because we are finding more and more of our guests are increasingly health conscious," said Four Seasons public relations manager, Sally McCann.

"Often people feel pressured into ordering a glass of wine with their meal but now customers have a choice," she said.

Some Kable's waters are listed as having "an elegant velvet character when served at room temperature" while others are described as having a "large mouth feel and is best served as a pre-dinner drink with hors d'oeuvres".

Would you like water with that?

The water menu is divided according to its source and the mineral content and includes "artesian", which comes from deep within the earth, "spring", which acquires minerals through rocks and "rain", which is collected from the world's cleanest skies.

It also features a category for sparkling waters. Small bottles range in price from A$16 to A$20 compared to a glass of local wine which costs between A$11 to A$13.

Home to wine labels such as Penfolds and the popular Jacob's Creek, Australia is the fourth largest vintage exporter in the world, according to the Australian Trade Commission.

Australians are also significant wine drinkers, with some surveys ranking them the 16th biggest consumers in the world, although beer still remains the nation's favourite tipple.

Kable's now hopes water will become equally popular.

For diners confused about which water best compliments their meal, Radrizzani recommends lightly sparkling waters, such as France's Badoit, for salads, seafood or white meat dishes while "classic" sparkling waters such as Italy's San Pellegrino, work well as mixers or with red meat dishes.

Just another gimmick to make people pay more for water?

- None



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