How to Host an Olive Oil Tasting Party

How to Host an Olive Oil Tasting Party

If you're looking for something simple, fun, and engaging to do over the holidays, an olive oil tasting party should be high on your list, especially if your friends and family enjoy good food + EVOO. 

Plus, if you've been following us from the very beginning, you've heard us discuss how not all olive oils are created equal. There is a lot of fraudulent olive oil mislabeled as extra virgin when they're not (see our article on the toxic truth about cooking oil).

So, how does the average health enthusiast know what’s real and what’s fake? The most effective way is to smell and taste your olive oil - similar to how you would taste fine wine. 

Today we are sharing how you can host an olive tasting for your next get-together because olive oil, like wine, is everywhere and there are many aspects to explore and enjoy.

Let us know what your guests think and cheers to authentic, polyphenol-rich EVOO! 

What you will need:

1. Small tasting glasses for each guest. A shot glass or wine glass will work! Professional olive oil tasters use blue cups as seen in the image below. Every detail in these cups is specified, from its dimensions to the material and design. It's dark-colored so that the color of its contents can't be examined, and the glass has to be annealed to withstand temperature changes.

2. Pens & Paper for note-taking.

3. Glasses of water for each guest.

4. A platter of sliced bread and green apple for your guests to eat in between tastings to clear their palates. 

5. The most important part of the tasting - Extra Virgin Olive Oil. If you don't have our EVOO, you can buy it on our site or swing by your local Whole Foods Market and pick up our Original EVOO. For the ultimate tasting, we recommend all three of our flavors compared with one bottle of any grocery store olive oil (the cheap stuff).

Tasting Steps

For each bottle of extra virgin olive oil you're tasting, follow these steps:

1. Pour a shot of your olive oil into your small, preferably round glass.

2. Cup the glass with one hand and cover the top with the other. We cover the top to trap the scent inside.

3. Twist the glass in your hand to attempt to warm the oil with your body heat and move it around in a circular motion.

4. Now uncover the glass and bring it to your nose for a deep whiff of the olive oil. If it smells fresh like grass, fruit, or vegetables, it’s more likely that your oil is truly extra virgin. Common identifiable scents from truly premium olive oil are grass, green or red tomato, banana, arugula, spinach, apple, citrus, or almond. If you’re not getting much of a fresh scent, it’s likely not extra virgin. Anything that smells musty, rancid, or is odorless is not extra virgin oil. 

5. The next step is to actually taste it. Give the glass a swirl and take a sip of the oil in your mouth but don’t swallow just yet. With clenched teeth and open lips, inhale to bring some air into your mouth and swirl the oil around your mouth. Then drink it. A true extra virgin will reveal lots of fruit and vegetable flavors as you swirl it around your mouth and will have a peppery or bitter taste at the back of your throat when you swallow it. It’s normal to cough and in fact, premium olive oils are often characterized as one-cough, two-cough, or three-cough oil. The more coughing, the more the polyphenols, and the better the oil! 

6. Take note of each olive oil you sample so you can compare each.

7. Sip your water and have a slice of bread or apple to cleanse your palette. 

Repeat with each bottle of olive oil + share your feedback with the group.

No fresh scent, no bitter or peppery taste and no cough? Toss it and upgrade! Don’t waste your time with lesser oils!