Fine Dining Water WTAF

If I was ever to meet the person who shelled out $60,000 for a bottle of the world’s most expensive water, I would like to think I would take great pleasure in throwing it in their face. Maybe use it for brushing my teeth. Or perhaps do the washing up in it?

That is correct. A bottle of Acqua di Cristallo Tributo Modigliani will set you back $60,000. Not for a massive lake of it, but for a 1.25mL bottle. This water is a mix sourced from Fiji and France, with a dash of Icelandic Glacier chucked in for good measure.

Do you ever stop and think “I wonder who came up with that idea?” I do all the time. Who came up with Chicken Salt? Why do they call them Pizza Shapes when, although delicious, they taste nothing like a Pizza? And what is Equal Sweetener actually made of?

My constant ponderings keep my mind active and means that I do not have to do Sudoku like my mum. And when I saw a fridge at my local shops that had a big sign on it, my mind went into overdrive!


I had to read it twice. It took a while to connect to be honest, and then the penny dropped. Water was not just something one drinks to stave off dehydration. It is now a fashion statement. And me? I think it is a crock of shite.

I recall when bottled water started appearing in shops years ago. Who would buy water when it was free from the tap? It seems that many of us would, with half a billion dollars spent in Australia alone on the stuff. I am one of those who on occasion drink bottled water. I cannot tell a lie. But when I think about it, I have to ask myself why? Do you know why you buy water?

At last check there were well over 3,600 different brands of bottled water available and Australian catering suppliers Source Direct have upped the ante when it comes to flogging fancy water.

 We recognise the need to supply an ever-growing range of “table” waters to meet the needs of discerning consumers of premium bottled waters. We are also privy to the growing number of restaurants who are moving away from the traditional 1 water offer to a “water list” in a similar and complimentary style to the wine list.

This is particularly puzzling to me. I understand the concept of “Sparkling or Still?” and even “Tap or Bottled?” but I am not sure how I would react to a Water List. As in “Would you care to see our Water List?” I am going to hazard a guess I would ask him to repeat himself, clutch my stomach and fall to the floor in hysterics.

Water purists insist that there is a huge factor that makes different waters so, well… different. Like wine, water can be tasted and judged on balance, virginality, minerality, orientation, hardness and vintage. They also insist that the optimum temperature to drink still water is 12C but if it is bubbly, 13C is a far better option.

Because that, my friends, would make all the difference.

Another thing water snobs tend to do is to fill up their ice-cube trays with their preferred bottled water. Why would you add ice made from the tap into your expensive water? I mean that would be just plain stupid.

I am a little over tosspots and their vitamin water, smart water and other special gimmicky versions of H2O. If we are going to get clever when marketing water, what about Hormone Balancing Water, Wine flavored Water and Chocolate Water? Water that actually might be of interest to me?

If that cannot happen, I will take mine straight up from the tap. After all, it is just water. They may not all be created equally, but as author Toni Morrison once wrote, “All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. 

Which makes Acqua di Cristallo Tributo Modigliani nothing but one expensive wee.

When it comes to water, what is your H2O of choice?

  • Nicole Watson

    Tap! I do buy bottled water only for the kids for school and refill until the bottle is stuffed or lost, because they don’t leak. I am yet to find a drink bottle that doesn’t leak!

  • vanessay

    I notice the water in the picture has ‘virginality’. Who comes up with these words? What is wrong with water that has ‘lost it’s virginality’? The marketer is obviously not familiar with the water cycle that is taught at Primary School. I do not have, what we in the country call ‘town water’ so my water is a mixture of rain and bore water. I drink it out of the tap but it plays havoc with smaller appliances so I use cheap supermarket water in my iron, kettle and coffee maker. Meanwhile, I think I will bottle my unique blend of Macclesfield water and market it as ‘experienced water’.

  • Straight from the tap with shed loads of ice also from the tap, except that now I am in the desert, I am worried about drinking chemically altered camel pee, so am slugging it from out of the bottle – home brand, which is truly stupid, cos fuck knows where that comes from.

  • Antoinette

    We are on tank water and you wouldn’t want to know, what birds do on the roof, before the rain gets collected from it into the tanks. I have an 8 liter Brita filter and reusable water bottles, so we can drink the water without getting a deli belly!

  • Maggie

    The environmental disaster that bottled water is causing with all the plastic that ends up in land fill is motivation enough for me to drink tap water. Say no more about the ridiculous cost of bottled water which is probably just straight from the tap anyway. We are so lucky in Australia that we can drink our tap water. Then there is the pollution generated by manufacturing the bottled water and transporting it from A to B.

  • Donna

    There are wankers in the world. And sadly they often have too much money.

    I always laugh when I see Fiji bottled water. I once spent a harrowing holiday driving lost on back roads up and down Fiji mountains. The lovely villagers don’t have plumbing and livestock runs free. A beautiful place to see but there is no way you consider it a pure source of water.

    I do occasionally buy bottled water instead of a soft drink when out and about. At home/school/work it is tap water all the way.

  • H2O is my water of choice.

  • Tracey

    Water from the tap does me just fine.

  • Barb Fisher

    Water from the tap is awesome and always my first choice in Australia and other lucky countries. However water from bottles is extremely awesome and extremely necessary when travelling to countries less fortunate than our own. God, how lucky are we to have the choice of how we want our water.

    if only the wankers who buy the $60k stuff instead donated that money to those who don’t have access to clean water AT ALL.

  • Jen I

    One of those little videos popped up on my Facebook about a guy whose job is “Water Sommelier”. If you can get someone to pay you to suggest which water to drink with your fine dining – go for it! In fact – where do I sign up to get my Water Sommelier qualifications? I also saw on the news the other day that Canberra had just won “best tap water” in the “best local water” contest – or something like that. In any case I have to agree, growing up in Canberra I always did think our water tasted better than water in other places we traveled. And definitely better than that evil plastic bottle producing bottled water. Just make more bubblers and no-one should need bottled water in Australia.

  • I’m with you. What absolute codswallop! I drink mine straight up. From the tap. Room temp. And lots of it.

  • katerina

    I can just picture all of us on here fronting who ever bought it…..!! hahahhaaahhhaa …..Thats totally insane . Give that sort of money to a worthwhile cause ffs !!

  • Highcar

    I remember 6 months into my stay in Germany as a young adult, almost fainting with desire for a proper glass of water when I saw an ad at the cinema involving a giant, slow motion wave. I salivate just thinking about it. Some water is definitely better than others.

  • Alison

    Bottled water effing shits me to tears! The unnecessary impact on our environment because of this scourge is unbelievable. It’s so unnecessary. If people are concerned about the taste or chemicals, just get a filter and a reusable drink bottle!

  • FunMumX3

    Please god someone with entrepreneurial spirit start marketing Recycled Water. LOL what a hoot that would be. Recycled from pee through the sewers, up through the water table, in to the oceans, through the springs and in to a plastic bottle! Or even Recycled Organic! Yes! Maybe tag it as gluten free water?

    There is so much we could do there! Extra points to anyone who can build on my marketing idea (and you can have it for free!)

    New! Caffeine free water?

  • When we moved into our house we noticed the plumbing ready to go for a water dispenser in the fridge door, except our fridge didn’t have such fancy operations. When the time come to buy a new fridge how could we go past the fancy fridge door action and I must say if I stay somewhere now that doesn’t allow me to have filtered cold water whenever I press my glass to the fridge I never drink enough. Yes, I’m a water snob! But it also means I fill my bottles up before I leave the house so I don’t need to pay through the nose while I’m out.