Ladies and gents, set your eye roll to its highest setting. Los Angeles restaurant Ray's & Stark Bar has a new water menu with more than 20 different "varietals of water from around the world," according to a press release. Oh, and there's a water tasting menu for $12.
The restaurant's general manager, Martin Riese, doubles as a "water sommelier." And yes, such a thing supposedly exists. In the release, he claims to be certified by the German Mineral Water Association, which the L.A. Times says offers a week-long course and is one of the few schools in the world to offer a certification for water specialists.
Riese says his selections have been carefully chosen to complement Ray's & Stark Bar's Mediterranean-inspired menu and can be paired in a manner similar to wine. And if you need help figuring out what all the fuss is about, the water menu comes complete with extensive tasting notes that break down each water's mineral content and flavor profile.
“Water has a significant impact on the way we taste food, just as with wine and spirits," said Riese. "We are already accustomed to pairing food with wine or beer, but many people don’t know that water is just as important to the entire dining experience.”
Back in June, Riese gave an interview to Alcademics about being a water sommelier.
"For 99 percent of Americans [water is] just water," he told the blog. "In Europe people have a different background on the topic water. Just in Germany we have over 580 different water brands. People are very aware of the difference in water."