Tuesday, April 16, 2024 Apr 16, 2024
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Restaurant Reviews

Taste Test Thursday: Sparkling Water

For those who like a little sparkle in their H2O.

I’ve been in the midst of some heated conversations regarding sparkling water as of late. Some people swear by Topo Chicho, while others are convinced that San Pellegrino is superior, and then there are those who are repelled by the notion of carbonation in their H2O.

I picked up seven unique sparking waters for this week’s taste test. Here’s what happened.

The water:

A. Perrier
B. Whole Foods brand
C. Topo Chico
D. Mountain Valley
E. Gerolsteiner
F. S. Pellegrino
G. La Croix

Tasting notes:


  • Crisp finish, but I wish there was more carbonation.
  • Not very bubbly. Kind of flat and stale.
  • Pretty subtle. More water than sparkle.
  • Sort of flat and tasteless after a few sips.
  • This was nice on a hot day such as the one we’re experiencing.
  • Slight mineral flavor. Weak bubbles. I’d drink it if I was really thirsty.

Whole Foods brand

  • This tastes like flat water. Give me still if you’re gonna play this game.
  • Strange flavor, almost chemically.
  • Mild bubble action.
  • Not overly carbonated, refreshing taste on the first and subsequent sips.
  • There’s a subtle aftertaste to this one.
  • Strong mineral flavor taste but in a good way. Bubble-age was lame.

Topo Chico

  • Nothing really interesting about this one.
  • Very bubbly! I like!
  • Fizzes appropriately.
  • Can definitely taste the minerals but the carbonation is sort of weak.
  • Very similar to B
  • Bland and bubbly. Eh.

Mountain Valley

  • I dig the apparent mineral finish. Nice and grainy.
  • Similar to C’s bubbles… yum!
  • In the spirit of being honest, I’m not sure I can tell most of these apart. This one didn’t register as it was going down.
  • Fewest bubbles of the lot so far, but the best-tasting yet.
  • Too bubbly for my taste.
  • I’d only drink this one if I was really, really thirsty.


  • Fine, I guess.
  • Very pure taste like bottled water. Not as bubbly as the others.
  • Unremarkable.
  • GROSS! Hate this taste. Also, it’s aggressively carbonated.
  • Honestly, this tastes like saliva. No thanks.
  • Strangely soapy. Never again.

S. Pellegrino

  • Earthy.
  • Meh.
  • More sparkling than the rest.
  • Nice mix of tiny and large bubbles has this carbonation on point. Very tasty.
  • Similar to E.
  • This tastes most like straight up water. Cute tiny bubbles.

La Croix

  • Nice and mineraly, oddly sweet.
  • Bitter!
  • This one stands out the most, it seems to have the most carbonation.
  • Don’t like the taste of this one so much. Wish there were more bubbles.
  • This is my favorite, hands down. It has a slight taste. Very refreshing.
  • They’re all the same temperature, but somehow this one seems hot?

Tally up:

Perrier 0
Whole Foods brand 1
Topo Chico 1
Mountain Valley 2
Gerolsteiner 0
S. Pellegrino 0
La Croix 2

The winner is:

It was a tie between La Croix and Mountain Valley. I have a case of La Croix in my kitchen at all times, it’s an excellent alternative for soda and beer when you’re craving something carbonated. And it’s by far the most affordable sparkling water on the market. Mountain Valley is based in Hot Springs Arkansas and has been botting water since 1871. The water is naturally alkaline and free of sodium.

So do you drink sparking water? Which one is your favorite? Let’s talk about it.

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