We're always fascinated by people that really know a lot about a subject, even if it's not one we're usually interested in. Case in point: a few years ago, the wife dragged us to a small perfume store; we left an hour later mesmerized by a man who knew more about perfume than we know about .

Well, we are in fact interested in water. And Michael Mascha is very, very interested in water -- and knows a ton about it. We first spoke to him at a water tasting event that kicked of the publication of his book, Fine Waters. Again, here's a guy that knows more about water than we do about anything -- and he's happy to share some knowledge with us.

1) Any thoughts on what those of us with very little water knowledge (and perhaps limited palates) can do to enjoy our hydration on a higher level?

Water is the next wine. It deserves intelligent attention and it is not a commodity but a product with a unique source, terroir and special characteristics. This is not a quest for the “best water” but rather an epicurean exploration into the differences and how those differences can be used to enhance the dining experience. Try waters with smaller bubble sizes (Antipodes, Voss, Vellamo . . .), they are not so distracting and something people enjoy when they say "I don't like sparkling water". With red meat try a high mineral content water (Vichy Catalan, Apollinaris, Gerolsteiner . . .) and enjoy the substance of the water and the way it stands up to the dish.

2) Can you tell us about the water-tasting experience that most recently blew your mind/excited you greatly?

Borsec is a naturally carbonated high mineral content water from Romania and it is very well known and regarded in central Europe. Hard cheeses and Borsec are a perfect match. I think it has something to do with the high levels of bi-carbonates in the water that gives it a unique flavor. Another match made in heaven is soft low mineral content rain water (Cloud Juice, Tasmanian Rain, 10BC . . .) with sashimi or sushi. No other water comes close.

After the jump: tapwater!