Olive Oil Tasting
As we mentioned in our book Host, we are strong believers that quality ingredients and essential tools are the foundation of a great meal and cocktail (ie. Stock The Bar 101). As part of our W&P Field Trip series, we invited Eataly's Beverage Director and co-founder of Grove and Vine, Dan Amatuzzi, to our office in Brooklyn for a tasting of two of our favorite liquids: olive oil and Italian wine. To give a little background, Grove and Vine is a two-man operation co-founded by Dan and his business partner Nicholas Coleman, Eataly's Head Oleologist. With their powers combined, they source remarkable olive oil from various locations around the world depending on the time of year. What you get in the bottle is fresh, vibrant olive oil, as if you were on the farm and pressed it yourself.
We were able to taste Gove and Vine's current oil release, harvested fall 2016. Nick and Dan sourced the winter olive oil bottling from Jaen, Spain from the producer Castillo de Canena.
When tasting olive oil, there are a few techniques to keep in mind. The first step is to warm the olive oil and allow the aromatics to pronounce. When using small tasting cups, the best method is to cover the cup between your hands and swirl the cup for 20 to 30 seconds. When the oil is warmed, the aromas will release (give it a try)!
While the oil is warm, you want to move straight into the tasting using a method called strippagio. The strippagio method is when you take a half-teaspoon of olive oil and, through an aerating process, coat the inside of your mouth. As you swallow the oil, the aromatics and various flavors will be perceived in your mouth while the sensation of pepper and heat will be felt in your throat. The oleocanthol, a natural antioxidant in extra-virgin olive oil, causes a heat or burning sensation in the back of the throat (many olive oil producers say that the more you cough, the higher the complement)!
Special thanks to Dan for coming to join us at our office in Greenpoint, Brooklyn!