Olive Oils 101
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting
Refine your palette with this Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasting guide.
Select the Right Glass
When considering the aromas and flavor sensations of oils, color is not an indication of quality. Professionals use small blue-tinted glasses to remove color bias.
Pour a Sample
Place 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your tasting glass (a wine glass works well, but small plastic cups are fine too and make for easier clean-up).
Warm the Cup
Warm the oil by cupping your hands around and over the top of the glass, and slowly rotate it so the oil sticks to the sides.
Smell the Olive Oil
Inhale the aromas. Think about what you smell—is it green, ripe, earthy, fruity, nutty? Note your initial perceptions so you can compare oils.
Taste the Olive Oil
Sip enough oil to let the flavors cover your tongue. Slowly inhale to help release the flavors in the oil. Close your mouth and breathe through your nose. Swallow at least some oil and note the tastes/sensations in your throat. Note where on your tongue you notice each sensation.
- Sweet—tip of the tongue
- Salt—upper edges of the tongue
- Sour/acid—side of the tongue
- Bitter—back of the tongue
Consider the Flavors
What notes do you catch—Apple? Tomato? Herbs? Citrus? Nuts? Spices? Do you feel bitterness on your tongue? Pungency in the back of your throat?
Record Your Thoughts
Think about the level of complexity to each sensation; are they balanced or does one dominate? Use the link below to download our tasting sheet, which you can use to take notes.
Cleanse & Rest Your Palate
Cleanse your palate before moving on to the next oil. Sparkling or still water and slices of apple, such as Granny Smith, work well. Rest your palette after tasting a set of 15 types of olive oils to avoid influencing your tasting skills.