This year, the long-running Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomed more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the globe. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is the largest water tasting competition in the world.
Municipal waters compete for the coveted honor of best tasting tap water. Bottled waters, both still and sparkling, are also judged along with waters in a new category, purified drinking water.
It’s unclear how much of the day is a pr/media event and how much is true competition but eleven judges spent hours tasting nearly one hundred waters from sixteen states and eight foreign countries. Bottled water came from all over the globe to compete, including for the first time water from Japan and Ecuador. Other international waters included those from New Zealand, Macedonia, Israel, Canada, and Bosnia.
The Gold Medal, and prestigious honor of being named, “The Best Water in the World” was awarded to Los Angeles based company, H2Om Water with Intention, an eco friendly, and award winning company whose natural spring water emanates from the pristine Palomar Mountains of Southern California.
Judges were instructed to look at, sniff and taste each water under guidelines like those in a wine tasting. The waters were rated for attributes including appearance (it should be clear – or slightly opaque for glacial waters), aroma (there should be none), taste (it should taste clean), mouth feel (it should feel light), and aftertaste (it should leave you feeling refreshed with no aftertaste). Hundreds of waters were tasted in four separate flights over two full days.
In 2010 the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Event will celebrate its twentieth year. The Saturday evening tasting and reception, billed as black tie/bib overalls optional, is free to the public by invitation from the area’s innkeepers.
For more information on the event and a complete list of awarded waters visit http://www.berkeleysprings.com/water/awards2.htm.