We know many of you are wine lovers (we are too) and you likely have spent your fair share of time tasting and refining your wine palate. But what you may not know is that extra virgin olive oil and fine wines have a lot in common, and an understanding of wine is a great starting point to develop a better understanding of olive oil. Want to learn more? Here’s a simple intro to comparing and contrasting wine and extra virgin olive oil that can help you explore the wonderful world of premium olive oil tasting.
1) WINE AND EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL ARE BOTH FRUIT JUICES.
TRUE: Just as wine starts out as freshly pressed grape juice, extra virgin olive oil comes from freshly pressing olives – essentially a fresh fruit juice. And just as pinot noir grapes make a different wine than cabernet grapes, the flavor profile of an extra virgin olive oil is partially determined by the varietal of olive – arbequina and arbosana, for example, have different flavor notes.
2) LIKE A FINE WINE, YOU SHOULD AGE YOUR EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.
FALSE: Unlike wine, extra virgin olive oil should not be aged. Olives are harvested and pressed once a year, from September-December in the Northern Hemisphere. Extra virgin olive oil from the most recent years’ harvest is more likely to retain its polyphenol properties (antioxidants), which studies have shown to contribute health benefits.
3) HEAT, LIGHT AND AIR ARE ENEMIES OF BOTH WINE AND EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.
TRUE: Exposure to the elements above for an extended period of time destroys the properties of both olive oil and wine. This is why both olive oil and wine are often sold in dark glass and suggested to store in a cool dark place – this protects them from damage, helping to preserve the rich flavor profiles found in both delicacies.
Learn More About Olive Oil Tasting
Just like wine, extra virgin olive oil can offer a rich, expansive world of flavor and taste. And if you’re ready to learn more about the properties of extra virgin olive oil and dive into olive oil tasting, we can help. Learn more about how extra virgin olive oil differs from and is similar to wine from our olive oil 101 series including how to taste extra virgin olive oil.