We drink sparkling water quite a bit at home. I always buy different brands depending on what’s available or if I am going with a theme. If I am cooking Italian I buy San Pellegrino, if I am cooking French then it’s Perrier.
Restaurants usually only have 1 variety so you are stuck with whatever they decided to go with. My guess is because some people view all sparkling water as the same. BUT it isn’t. They are all very different and our tasting had me surprised. Friends of ours Ann and Jim joined us on our quest. Needless to say we were all extremely hydrated by the end of the night!
We tasted 5 sparkling waters from different countries that included:
– Mountain Valley: United States
– San Pellegrino: Italy
– Perrier: France
– Gerolsteiner: Germany
– Topo Chico: Mexico
We classified the waters from classic to bold. The goal here was to compare what most people buy and what most restaurants offer to see the difference.
The Classic: Pellegrino vs Mountain Valley (These are all considered classic sparkling waters)
San Pellegrino had some tiny bubbles with a hint of mineral. It didn’t linger but faded so it was easier to drink more of. This water goes well with cheeses, meats, and fish. It isn’t over powering but you know it’s there.
Mountain Valley was somewhere in the middle. It had some bubbles and a little bit of mineral. This would be a good bottle of water to have for a little bit of fizz. If you like a classic sparkling than you would like the Pellegrino or the Mountain Valley. We were really surprised that the Mountain Valley did as well compared to Pellegrino.
The Bold: Gerolsteiner, Topo Chico , & Pierre (These are all considered bold sparkling waters)
Gerolsteiner is sharp, metallic, and bubbly. It is an assertive mineral water where you can taste the minerals in it.
Topo Chico was crisp and clean, nice bubbles and a good balance of mineral. We all really loved this one and it was one of our favorites. It did extremely well when compared to the Gerolsteiner.
Perrier was tasteless with big bubbles that faded quickly. There was no hint of mineral and it was defiantly the least favorite out of all that we tasted.
Conclusion: We really like the Gerolsteiner and the Topo Chico in this category. The Perrier could not compare to them and had no taste to it. We all four typically like a bolder water so for us the Topo Chico from Mexico and Gerolsteiner from Germany were the favorites out of this tasting. We all agreed from an easy drinking perspective the San Pellegrino was our choice.
What’s your favorite sparkling water and what do you like about it?
Carlie FairchildAugust 14, 2010 at 9:58 am
You convinced me to buy some Topo Chico. In fridge now. Will report back.
katherinedSeptember 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm
I finally got around to trying Gerolsteiner again after reading this post. I like it quite a bit as it turns out. I like the sort of bite it has. I would like to drink this with raw oysters.
ChrisAugust 1, 2012 at 10:05 am
Too bad you guys didnt include Saint-Justin mineral water, which is a Canadian mineral water
Eric ChanAugust 1, 2012 at 10:16 am
I tried a sparkling water from France called Ventadour, it was the best and it is my favourite sparkling water at all time.
Chris LambertAugust 1, 2012 at 11:13 am
The best sparkling is Llanllyr Source Water from Wales UK hands down.
DennisApril 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm
Of the naturally sparkling waters I’ve had (Gerolsteiner, Perrier and S. Pellegrino) I find that Gerolsteiner has a much richer mineral flavor, complimented with fine bubbles. Pellegrino, with CO2 added, has a more subtle flavor and the bubbles are a bit more coarse, but longer lasting.
Carrie PaciniApril 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm
Hi Dennis, thanks for your perspective. I have moments when I crave Gerolsteiner because it does have a nice mineral flavor.
JohnJuly 7, 2014 at 11:18 am
I am completely hooked on Topo Chico. Thank God I live in S. Texas where it is plentiful and cheap. I honestly drink almost nothing else. On the downside, if you have ever been to Monterrey, it is hard to believe anything healthy could come from there, but have never seen anything to dispute its purity or benefits.