The Hamptons Needs a Water Sommelier

Water Sommelier Water Mill 11976
urfinguss, Nastco, Solymosi TamA!s/iStock/Thinkstock

I am sick and tired of the Hamptons being outdone by other affluent areas of the country. Why can’t we stay ahead of the curve and be the originators of pop-culture trends and not the impersonators?

What is my point? The Ray’s and Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art now has a 44 page water menu. Martin Riese, who is the general manager of the bar even promotes “water tastings,” where you spit out the water, as you would wine at a tasting, until you find the one you desire.

People are calling Riese a “water sommelier.”

Well guess what, readers? I have done the research. I have called numerous fine dining establishments on the East End and not one has confirmed the presence of a single certified water sommelier—or uncertified water sommelier, for that matter.

A company called Capjem, which claims to be “culinary and science research and development experts,” claims on its website to have “The original and only U.S. based water sommelier certification.”

However, in the case of Mr. Riese, he obtained his certification from the German Mineral Water Association.

According to the website,, the United States alone has more than 113 brands of bottled water. Some of those include brands such as Kona Deep, Beverley Hills 90H20 and Bling H2O. Add these U.S. brands to the international brands, and you’ll count more than 400 possible water choices.

How do you think our lack of water expertise makes us look to the rest of the world? Those moneyed people seeking H2O wisdom might just decide to bring their patronage elsewhere.

We need Hamptons water sommeliers and we need them now. We also need to brand several water types and give them names that are deserving of the elite status of our area. How about “Water Mill 11976?”

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