Sat Oct 22 01:48:58 SAST 2016

Water for the connoisseur

By unknown | Oct 16, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zino Ventura is somewhat of an expert on mineral water - because he drinks 4 to 5 litres of the stuff a day.

Zino Ventura is somewhat of an expert on mineral water - because he drinks 4 to 5 litres of the stuff a day.

As this year's Mr South Africa he is committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and his exercise regimen ensures that his sporty physique remains in shape.

He swims, boxes and plays rugby - and competes in mini-triathlons to complement his gym routine.

Ventura likes both local and imported brands of water. He has an elaborate filtration system at his home but always drinks bottled water when he's on the move. Though he's proudly South African, he admits to favouring French brands as they are "softer and silkier" than our local water.

"But I drink our Nestlé quite a lot," he says. "It's a smoother, softer water without any chemical aftertaste.

"It's the kind of water you'd expect to get at the coast, much more palatable than our hard Joburg water.

"I would choose this brand out of all the South African brands on offer."

Ventura makes one appreciate that a substance that we consider to be fairly tasteless actually tastes quite different across various brands.

Ventura doesn't appear that impressed with H2O, sourced and bottled at Dargle in the Natal Midlands.

This brand, according to Ventura, has a chemical aftertaste that lingers at the back of the tongue long after you've taken a sip. It's also quite a hard water, he says.

Valpré Still Spring Water is widely available across South Africa, perhaps because it falls under the Coca-Cola banner.

It is sourced and bottled in the Fricona Valley, Paulpietersburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

"This water tastes pretty natural but it's hard to believe it's actual spring water. It tastes more like purified water to me."

Pick n Pay's Choice Still Water tastes completely flat, says Ventura, crunching up his face.

"It tastes over-filtered, as if it's completely devoid of minerals.

"I I don't feel like I'd be getting anything out of drinking it."

The bottle does not say where it is sourced, which is also a bit off-putting. It's important to be able to imagine an dyllic location that your bottled water comes from.

Evian is a brand that Ventura is lovingly familiar with. As with champagne, there's something special - and invariably more expensive - about it, with its light blue lid and pink label picturing the French Alps - just inviting you to take a long sip.

And it really does taste as if it comes from pure snowy peaks.

Ventura's commitment to his healthy lifestyle is one of the reasons he walked away with the Mr. South Africa title.

But even more important to Zino is having a strong social conscience - and always having that glass of life-giving water at hand.


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