New Experience - Olive Oil Tasting

This January, we were in California for a wonderful family wedding. While there, we took some time to do some new things. We love new experiences, you probably do, too! One of those ‘new things’ was driving with our brother and his wife to the heart of wine country in Paso Robles and participating in some olive oil tasting.

Upon their recommendation, we stopped at the Pasolivo Ranch. This is a beautiful, 140-acre ranch set in the picturesque rolling hills of the central coast. Of their 7000 olive trees, they cultivate twelve different varieties of olives. They are hand-picked and also milled and bottled on site.

We started our olive oil tasting experience with six different varieties. Some of the adjectives used to describe the different oils were buttery, peppery, bold, new and grassy. Each one had a unique flavor. We never knew! 

So just like wines, various oils have their own burst of flavor and impact on the palate. Now for the tastings, you could actually just sample the oil straight; or, for the less adventuresome, bread was provided for dipping and tasting. 

After the initial round of education, hosted by a very knowledgeable young woman named Olivia (no lie! she gave us permission to take her picture!), we tried additional oils. These were then paired with a variety of vinegars, herbs, spices, and salts. Even the vinegars they produce are specially aged in barrels. What a sensory experience!

The EVOOs (Extra Virgin Olive Oils) at Pasolivo are made in award winning small batches. This allows for a high degree of quality control. So in addition to enhancing the flavor of the foods paired with the olive oils, you are also reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, and increasing your intake of antioxidants.

The tasting room includes a delightful little shop filled with their oils, vinegars, salts, sauces, and recipes. They even have a subscription membership for those who get hooked! And yes, once you take your olive oil tasting experience home with you, you probably won’t want to go back to those store bought oils very often.

In recent years, olive oil tasting has become quite the new thing. And the Pasolivo Ranch seems to be leading the way. They’re putting this section of California on the map as a recognized producer of EVOO. Next time you’re in the area, give it a try!


Popular Posts