Tasting olive oil is a similar experience to wine tasting. It allows you to refine your palette and identify the flavors you like best. Olive oils have three categories: delicate, medium, and robust. Additionally, each have different attributes. Fruitiness, bitterness, and pungency are all positive attributes to note. When tasting, use descriptive language such as buttery, herbaceous, and peppery. It’s best to taste olive oil “neat” (or straight) so there are no competing flavors. The pros use special blue glasses so the color of the oil doesn’t influence their judgment, as color doesn’t affect the quality or flavor.
The 4 Ss of Olive Oil Tasting
- Swirl: Pour a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil into a glass (a stemless wine glass works well). Cup the glass to add warmth to the oil. Use the other hand to cover the top and swirl the glass gently to release the aromas.
- Smell: Uncover the glass and quickly but deeply inhale with your nose at the rim.
- Slurp: Take a small sip while also drawing in air. Slurping the oil this way (as opposed to a polite, quiet sip) will heighten the flavor. Then breathe out through your nose.
- Swallow: As you swallow the olive oil, concentrate on the flavors.
Be sure to cleanse your palate between tastings with a bite of green apple or plain bread.
To put your new skills to the test, visit our tasting room and experience the flavors of our award-winning extra virgin olive oil.