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Water Tasting Event in the European Parliament


Over 100 European policy makers, members of the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), consumers and other stakeholders attended on Wednesday night, 9 February 2011, the first ever water-tasting event in the European Parliament. The event, entitled ‘Discover the Natural Mineral Waters of Europe’, was hosted by Rovana Plumb, Filip Kaczmarek and Theodoros Skylakakis, Members of the European Parliament. Andreas Larsson, Best Sommelier of the World 2007, invited the guests to experience the diversity and differences in taste of the mineral waters.

In her opening remarks MEP Dr Rovana Plumb – Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) - highlighted the fact that the event was co-hosted by her colleagues MEPs Dr Filip Kaczmarek and Dr Theodoros Skylakakis from the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament. “Water stands for diversity and a unique European heritage that we should preserve. Not only is this natural product fundamental to our health and our life but also to our economy, our social and environmental standards.”

For MEP Dr Theodoros Skylakakis the event was not only a celebration of the mineral waters but also of the glass containers in which they have been packaged for many centuries. “These two traditional products make a great combination. Glass is a resource efficient and sustainable material, but is also safe from a health perspective. This makes it the packaging material for the future, since it also has innovation potential.”

Andreas Larsson, named the world’s best sommelier in 2007 by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI), agreed with the MEPs that glass bottles and mineral waters are a match made in heaven. “Only glass protects the purity and delicacy of mineral waters. Water is so clean that every other packaging would affect the taste of it.”

Guests at the event who thought water is just water, were quickly convinced of the contrary by the sommelier. “Just like coffee or wine, water is a complex beverage. Mineral waters can be lively and energizing, others are soft and elegant on the palate. The nature of the source, the mineral composition and the pH level all influence the taste of the water. Mineral waters are a ‘terroir’ product, just like wine”, explained Mr Andreas Larsson.

MEP Dr Filip Kaczmarek experienced the tasting as a revelation. “It was a discovery to analyze the taste of water after listening to the sommelier. Andreas Larsson also pointed out to us that mineral waters are local products, with a strong link to the local communities. The same can be said of the glass container producers. In my home region of Poznan (Poland) for instance the glass container industry is strongly represented. It is part of our community, our heritage and our future.”


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