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Pairing water and wine: rules and exceptions

Back to all articles 6 december 2016

When pairing water and wine, a variety of factors are taken into account. The number of possible flavour combinations is virtually unlimited, with almost every one offering something unique. It is a well-known fact that water always presents the same mix of organoleptic qualities, while wine, if stored correctly, can be considered a food in its own right, with a wide variety of tastes and aromas. Nevertheless, it is worth offering some guidance on how and what to pair, as well as combinations to be avoided.

Fresh and fruity white wines: the simple and aromatic flavours in these wines are due to their colour, bouquet and taste, and they usually carry notes of the fruit itself. We recommend enjoying Acqua Panna with these wines.

Barrel-aged white wines: the flavours and aromas of these wines are more complex. The contact with the wood strengthens the fruit flavours and even adds a slight hint of spice; the wine has a rounded taste and the alcohol feels warm on the tongue. Light, soft Acqua Panna is the ideal partner for this type of wine.

Rosé wines: these feature a wide range of flavour profiles depending on the production technology used. Consequently, young, fresh, light wines will go well with Acqua Panna, while S.Pellegrino is a great choice for wines with a higher alcohol content.

Young red wines (Beaujolais style): this type of wine has a bright, fruity taste. The lack of tannins makes it fresh, flavourful and light. Its crisp nature goes well with both S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.

Young red wines: these wines have an enduring aroma with notes of herbs and red berries. The taste is sharp and acidic with lots of tannins, leaving a pleasant finish on the tongue. Such wines pair well with S.Pellegrino.

Light-bodied red wines: these belong to the category of wines which feature secondary aromas, reminiscent of fruits, spices and a variety of other notes. These wines are highly valued and offer a pleasant, balanced range of flavours that is a good match for S.Pellegrino.

Full-bodied, mature red wines: these wines have a well-expressed individual character and a rich, complex bouquet. They are rounded and soft on the tongue, albeit with an evident edge. The enduring aroma and high tannin content of mature red wines mean that they pair well with S. Pellegrino.

Aromatic sweet sparkling wines: this type of wine is usually served with dessert. Their lightness and rich aroma make Acqua Panna an ideal partner.

Fortified wines: these can be dry or sweet, producing a range of different experiences, from sweet notes and a warm sensation of alcohol on the palate, to a piquant freshness on the tongue that transforms into a lasting yet balanced acidic note. These very different wines are well-matched by Acqua Panna and S.Pellegrino.

Sparkling wines and non-vintage champagnes: these are especially eclectic products with a sharp, fresh, acidic taste. They are served with food and pair well with S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna alike.

As one might expect, there are exceptions to any set of rules. Below, we describe the situations, occasions and products where the above rules for pairing water and wine do not apply.

Classic sparkling wines and vintage champagnes: these wines should only be served with Acqua Panna due to their refined and elegant aromas married with a harmonious range of flavours.

Great red wines: these wines are drunk on their own, not with food. They should be served with Acqua Panna to allow the drinker to enjoy the finish and appreciate every mouthful.

Full-bodied white wines with a strong structure, which have been matured in barrels or bottles to acquire their properties and long-lasting tastes and aromas: these should only be paired with the sparkle of S.Pellegrino.

White wines served as aperitifs: these should ideally be matched with S.Pellegrino because the carbon dioxide in the water causes stomach juices to be secreted, increasing the appetite. By pairing such wines with S.Pellegrino, the aperitif function is multiplied as the human body prepares to enjoy a meal.

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Pairing water and wine: rules and exceptions