We recommend starting with just three olive oils. You’ll want to select extra virgin olive oil and include one that is an inexpensive imported supermarket brand. For the remaining two, we suggest trying one of our own – such as GustoDella Vita Chilean Craft Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus one of our single varietal olive oils such as Gusto Della Vita Carolea Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Another affordable option would be Gusto Della Vita tag-a-longs, then you’ll have alternatives for additional tastings. Even though professional tasters use colored tasting glasses so that they cannot be influenced by the color of the oil, wine glasses also work great for tasting, so you don't necessarily have to purchase special tasting vessels. Additionally, only about one tablespoon of olive oil per pour is needed. Cleansing your palate in-between samples is a must. Some widely used palate cleansers are sorbet, bread, apple slices, banana and pickles.
Finally, your guests will need tasting cards and writing implements with which to jot down their tasting notes. We generally recommend that beginners just rate fruitiness (the aroma), bitterness (on the tongue) and pungency (in the back of the throat), as well as balance among the three (you don’t want an oil that has a very strong aroma and no bitterness or pungency, for instance) on a scale of 1 to 10.
Olive Oil Tasting Instructions First, pour about a tablespoon of the first olive oil into your wineglass. Swirl the olive oil in the glass. Cup the glass in one of your hands and cover the top of the glass with the other. Swirl gently to release aromas. The warmth from your hands with help the aromas release as well. Uncover the glass and smell the oil deeply. Take mental notes of what you smell. Is it peppery? Fruity? Buttery? Next, take a sip of the oil almost in a 'soup-slurping' fashion. Allow the oil to run across the palate. Breathe in through your nose. Try to smell the oil again before swallowing. As you exhale, swallow the oil and concentrate on the flavor. Think about some general categories such as fruitiness, pungency, bitterness, earthiness, pepperiness, etc. Write down your observations and then compare them with your fellow tasters! You can also re-taste the oil by pouring it on a small plate and dipping the bread in the oil and seeing how that affects the taste. When you are ready to move on to the next oil, cleanse your palate with plain bread, a slice of apple, and/or sparkling water. Repeat the process for the oils. Hostess with the Mostest If you want to add a little something extra to your party, you can provide your guests with olive oil and/or vinegar tag-a-longs. The labels can be personalized to commemorate your event. You’ll want to order about two weeks prior to the event, unless you want to expedite your order.