Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Rambling About Water

I was in Whole Foods Market again to get some miscellaneous stuff. The weather was pretty sizzling that it made me thirsty for something bubbly. So I found myself checking out their beer fridge.

While looking for a decent India Pale Ale, a lady stepped right beside me and started asking me if I had tried an Okinawan beer that she particularly likes very much. I said no, I haven’t, and as far as Japanese beers go, I prefer Sapporo. Then she rambled about the importance of water origin that’s used to make the beer and told me to forget about Sapporo because that beer is brewed in Canada, instead of in Sapporo with the local water. She confirmed this to me by taking a Sapporo bottle and showing me the fine prints on the back label. I told her that she made a good point...I’ve never bothered to notice that before.

She went on to tell me how I should only get beers made with [their] local water, and that I should always check the back label to find that out. Drinking something from the original source, she said, is like flying to that place, being there, smelling the air and tasting the water. While I agree with her romantics, I couldn’t help thinking “What have you been drinking, lady?" I was very amicable with her because I myself share her opinion, though not her insistence. I choose my water for tea, but I don’t strive for water from a spring in Wuyi Mtn. to brew my Wuyi rock oolongs.

So I randomly picked up a fancy-looking beer bottle wrapped in thin white paper to scrutinize its front and back labels. Hey, yeah, this beer is from Harbin, China and it was brewed in Harbin too, I said to her! She said that should be a good beer then! I put the Harbin beer in my basket.

After she’d left me alone, I thought to myself “Isn’t Harbin the place where there was a water contamination crisis from that chemical plant explosion recently?” I quickly and quietly put the bottle back and picked something else: Grant’s Hopzilla IPA, brewed in Yakima Valley, Washington. Great, hoppy stuff! As far as I know, there had been no chemical plant explosion in Yakima Valley.

Oh yeah, that lady also praised Nobu, the famous chef, who according to her uses only Fiji brand artesian water to cook his sushi rice with. Really?! No wonder he charges an arm and a leg for his food. I also wonder if she thinks sushi is a Fijian cuisine.


Imen said...


what's your opinion on 2004 Conundrum? why is there a big difference in price for 2003? Where is the best place to buy it at a bargain?

I sound like a problem child with loads questions here.


~ Phyll said...

Caymus Conundrum is a very nice white wine, year in and year out. Both the 2003 and 2004 are excellent, and many people think so too. Since this is a white wine, I would opt for the fresher vintage 2004, which was a good year for the white grape varieties that go into the bottle. So was 2003, for that matter. But CA whites tend to be better younger than older.

Price wise, there shouldn't be any difference at all. This is not a wine that appreciates in value over the years.

The Woodland Hills Wine Company, which I frequent, sells both '03 and '04 for $22 each. LA Wine Company near LAX has the '04 for $20. Wine House by the 405 FWY and Olympic carries the '04 for about $21 too. These are good places to buy wines in LA w/o getting ripped off.


Hope that helps...I don't have all wine answers, but don't hesitate to ask!

MarshalN said...

How did wine get into this discussion about water?

Anyway... it doesn't mean water is not important!

~ Phyll said...


Oh yes, I completely agree with you and with the lady in the store. Water quality is very important. I didn't say or imply that it's not important.

Imen said...

Thanks alot Phyll! I living in the south beach area. LAX seems close enough. I couldn't wait so I bought a 2004 at a local wine store for $28. Trader Joe's surprisingly carries half a bottle of 2003 for $12. I bought it too without thinking.

Imen said...

Just a random question that I was eager to find out, had nothing to do with the topic of the posting.