Tips on Olive Oil Tasting
Our new friends Debby and Phil Brooks at the We Olive and Wine Bar in Costa Mesa recently opened our eyes to the joys of olive oil tasting. Sure, we’re familiar with wine tasting and wine pairing…but olive oil? Yes, olive oil.
The best place to start with some good olive oil education is with a tasting. You can research, and read all of the bottle labels in the world but without tasting the olive oil you just can’t connect with the aroma and taste. According to Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, from The Olive Oil Times there are three positive attributes you will want to look for in a fine olive oil.
1. Pungency - This is a positive characteristic of olive oil. It can be mild, or quite intense….but most aficionados say go for the bolder taste. Once you get that strong one, it’s hard to go back to something lighter.
2. Fruity Characteristics - With the fruity attributes you might taste nuts, butter or something green and leafy even.
3. Bitterness- Like the pungency, there are levels of bitterness and the stronger can be an acquired taste. As Alexandra mentions, “American taste horizons are broadening; we are exploring bitterness with foods like dark chocolate, bitter salad greens and now, robust olive oils.” So while, the more bitter olive oils might come across a bit strong at first, give it another try as it might grow on you.
A few tips on olive oil tasting? Some people might find sipping olive oil directly to be a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry a tiny sip won’t hurt you. Or, you could even use a small sliver of bread to help with the tasting. Also, to help enjoy your olive oil tasting have some wine and water in between samples to help refresh your palate. Or, if attending our event, simply taste the olive oils with some of the fine selections of foods we’ll be offering. Mixing the olive oils with other foods can give you a whole new perspective to the taste and can lead to some great conversations. What are the best pairings? What can I serve this olive oil with at home? What would be best for cooking? There are endless ways to savor the olive oils.
Join us, and learn more, next Thursday night as we taste fine olive oils, vinegars, and delicious wine as well. If you have any other olive oil tasting tips please share.
We Olive & Wine Bar at The OC Mart Mix
3313 Hyland Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Thursday October 24th 6pm-9pm