Usually, wine sommeliers are experts who make recommendations on the wine choices according to certain meals, but don’t be amazed to know that this man does the same with water! Martin Riese is a professional water sommelier, which means he gets paid for drinking water, and he is the only one in the United States.
German by birth, Riese claims that he has been obsessed with different water tastes since he was 4-years-old. He traveled all across Europe with his parents as a child, and the first thing he did at a new place was trying the tap water. It was only later that he discovered his special talent of having a very special palette for detecting different mineral water tastes. And that’s how he made a career as a water sommelier.
Martin says that while people can’t differentiate between different water tastes, there are many natural mineral waters available throughout the world that taste differently and have their own unique properties. Martin’s talents have been recognized by the German Mineral Water Trade Association, and he also has a certificate as a professional water sommelier. He has been working in the US since 2012 and has been the star of many documentaries, special reports, and talk shows.
His work consists of chilling the water at 59 degrees Fahrenheit and offering clients a selection of different waters and amazing them with a host of interesting information about them. This information includes the place of origin and the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) level of the water, which is the mineral content ranging from very low (10 – 40) to as high as (around 7000). The higher the TDS, the stronger its taste.
For example, VOSS is a Norwegian mineral water coming directly from glacier water. Being extremely pure, it has a TDS level of only 40, which is the same as most purified waters. In comparison, Iskilde is a mineral water extracted from an artesian spring in Denmark and has a TDS level of 400, giving an earthy taste as it passes through 150 feet of quartz sand and clay layers along with an underground air-bubble dating back 8,000-years.
Martin says that he has drank over 4,000 different spring waters from all over the world, and has been drinking for money since 2005.