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The Bottle Brigade

So you just can't part with your bottled water quite yet. For those who are oh-so-persnickety, Michael Mascha, author of "Fine Waters," offers a connoisseur's guide to the best of the spring-feds and suggests what food goes best with what bubbly.

May 20, 2007|Michael Mascha

Antipodes

Goes well with: sweet-and-sour pork

Antipodes comes from a pristine source on the North Island of New Zealand. The clean, modern bottle is modeled after the traditional New Zealand sherry or beer bottle. The soft, light bubbles (it's artificially carbonated) and low mineral content contrast well with food without overpowering it. Perfect for Americanized Chinese dishes. $80 for 12 1-liter bottles.

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Ferrarelle

Goes well with: veal scaloppini

Ferrarelle, from a spring outside Naples, is one of Italy's most popular waters. It has very small, fine bubbles (the carbonation is said to be associated with volcanic activity) with an effervescent feel. A must-try for those who say they don't like sparkling water. Perfect with Italian food. $27 for 12 .75-liter bottles.

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Vichy Catalan

Goes well with: steak

This naturally carbonated water from Spain is finally available in the United States. The very high mineral content is an acquired taste, but it's well worth the effort. Perfect with red meat and game. $32 for 121-liter bottles.

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Fine

Goes well with: sushi/sashimi

Fine is made from 1,000- year-old rainwater that has been filtered through volcanic rock at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Japan. The artesian water emerges in the Shuzenji countryside, where it is bottled at the source. Its low mineral content and slightly sweet taste make it perfect for sushi and sashimi. Expensive ($57 for 12 .72-liter bottles) but impressive--your date will love it.

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Borsec

Goes well with: cheese enchiladas

This water, from Romania, was said to be a favorite of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef. It's naturally carbonated and high in bicarbonates thought to be beneficial for digestion. The soft, effervescent bubbles of this high-mineral-content water provide needed contrast to soft Tex-Mex foods. $14.50 for six 1.5-liter bottles.

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To find these bottled waters go to: www.aquabar.ws, www.aquamaestro.com and www.world-wide-waters.com

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