Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm in the Wrong Business Part 625: "$20 for a bottle of water? Your water sommelier will bring the menu right away"

I am such an innocent that I thought it was hilarious when I learned Evian was naive spelled backwards.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Water sommelier
Martin Riese is a water sommelier for the Patina Restaurant Group, working at Ray's and Stark restaurant at LACMA. Reise will launch a water menu Monday. (Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)
On a hot July afternoon, Martin Riese sits in a suit at one of the patio tables at Ray's and Stark with eight bottles of water and 16 glasses in front of him. He laughs as museum goers pause in front of his table to smirk or make a comment about the odd man with all that water.

There are bottles from France, Norway, Fiji, Germany and the United States, all neatly lined up, from flat to sparkling, ready to be poured for a water tasting.

In case it's not clear, Riese is crazy about H20. He's taking the clear liquid most of us take for granted as a simple necessity and attempting to turn it into a serious business.

Reise is the water sommelier -- yes, there is such a thing -- for the Patina Group of Retaurants. He's launching a water menu Monday at Ray's and Stark, the restaurant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where he is also the general manager. Some of the bottles will be priced as high as $20.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now at the thought of water sommeliers, water menus, and pricey bottles of water, know this: Glasses of curated cold water are one of the hottest things showing up on menus.

The concept of water menus has been attempted in Europe, with perhaps the most famous being from Le Water Bar Colette in Paris. It has even been tried in L.A. The Bazaar at the SLS offered a water menu a couple years back, but the concept never really took off....MORE
"Riese's water menu will include 20 brands, including a water he crafted called Beverly Hills 90H20. It retails for $12 a bottle and is made from spring water from the Sierra Nevadas and added minerals...."
The most impressive thing is: dude can maintain a straight face while selling the stuff.