sparkling water tasting

In the States, whatever mysterious mafias that regulate grocery store shelves have put the cap on sparkling water to a few main labels: San Pellegrino, Perrier, etc.  But here, the availability of different waters is staggering. In the Super Amara below the FNAC, there is an especially large selection, and I decided that the only way to make an informed buying decision would be to try them all.

Cata time! I invited a few dear friends over for a sparkling water tasting...and did the legwork so you lovers of sparkling water don't have to.



Bottled here in Gipuzkoa. 80 cents a bottle.

  • bubbles: bubbly, calm, range from small to large
  • first impression: France, tart, refreshing
  • mouthfeel: tingly, stale poprocks, short, fast, wide, aggressive
  • taste: bland, lacks taste, slight salt, clean
  • average score: 5.2/10


Bottled  in Hampshire, England. 3.17 a bottle.

  • bubbles: absent, lacking, slow
  • first impression: bad hotel bar cerca 1997, uncarbonated, boring
  • mouthfeel: disappointing, not sparkling, only slight difference from natural, soft, very light fizz
  • taste: super bland, slight metal, mineral, slightly sweet
  • average score: 3.2/10


Bottled  in the Haute Loire, France. about 2 euros per bottle.

  • bubbles: none, very small, lacking
  • first impression: fresh, Evianesque, soft, sweet
  • mouthfeel: not too fizzy, not too flat, smooth, broad, short, lazy
  • taste:  like slightly tart tap water, metallic, sweet, boring
  • average score: 4.7/10


Bottled  in Girona. 70 cents a bottle.

  • bubbles: most sparkling, very bubbly, largish, steady, impressive
  • first impression: tingly, holiday in Provence, sour
  • mouthfeel: tight, very tingly, painfully spicy, long, rambunctious
  • taste: tangy, citrus-y, slightly rotten citrus, sweet, metal, pleasant
  • average score: 6.3/10


Bottled  in Girona. 1.07 euros a bottle. WINNER!

  • bubbles: fairly bubbly, small but lively, crazy bubbles, strong
  • first impression: sweet, YES!, mmmm...., good
  • mouthfeel: not dry, balanced, short and constant, invasive
  • taste: acidity, sweet but muted,  refreshing, neutral
  • average score: 7/10

So, there you have it folks...Vichy Catalan, winner, hands down. Only downside? It was my favorite before the tasting even began. Oh well, I guess it's nice to be validated.