Olive oil wishlist

Olive oil wishlist

Photo credit: Josh Hallett

Photo credit: Josh Hallett

For the December 2012/January 2013 edition’s Wishlist we did a special tasting with olive oil guru Celina Pennisi who has been judging olive oil contests for a decade and teaches courses at Wine Institute in Mendoza (Sarmiento 786, (261) 423 0909). With a wide selection of olive oils in front of us, Celina taught us about the history of olive oil in Argentina and around the world and gave us a demonstration on how to professionally taste, here’s a run down for anyone that wants to try at home:

Olive oil should be tasted in a small wide bottomed glass and you should trap the aromas with a lid until ready to taste. Gently swirl the oil and breath in all the aromas then take a small amount in your mouth and oxygenate it a bit by breathing in. As you swallow you should take in all the aromas, flavors and mouth feel of the oil, and watch out for the spicy kick at the finish!

Here some of our favorites from the tasting:

Maguay, Nevadillo: This lighter varietal from this family producer has soft, fruity aromas with a hint of green tomato and a touch a spice in the mouth. The lighter flavors make it a delicate accompaniment to salads and light dishes. www.maguay.com.ar

Finca las Marujitas, Changlot: This unique varietal is actually usually an eating olive, but this olive producer in Lavalle decided to make extra virgin olive oil with it instead and it has turned some heads in the industry and won international awards since. Delicate and fruity. www.fincalasmarujitas.com.ar

Miguel Simone, Frantoio: Although a less common varietal in Argentina, Frantoio is popular in Italy. This oil from Maipu has notes of freshly cut grass and a hint of tropical fruit with a spicy kick on the finish. www.olivicolasimone.com

Laur, Blend de Terroir, Medrano: This olive producer does three special terroir blends from different regions – Medrano, Altos Limpios and Cruz de Piedra. The Medrano blend is light and fruity with a trace of spice and bitterness for a lingering finish. www.laursa.com

Carinae, Arauco: Argentina’s emblematic olive variety, this family winery makes an exceptional olive oil full of personality with a lasting spice which makes it good for pairing with full flavored dishes. Very low acidity with a lot of impact! www.carinaevinos.com

Olivar de Lunta, Arauco blend: Made for this boutique winery, their blend of Arauco olives produce a fruity extra virgin olive oil with the trademark bitterness gracing a savory, herbal end note. www.mendel.com.ar

Pasrai, Quinta Generacion, Albahaca: Made with their classic extra virgin olive oil, this producer makes a line of flavored olive oils including garlic, basil, oregano and rosemary. Their basil olive oil would be ideal to drizzle on a homemade pizza a la parilla! www.pasrai.com.ar

By Amanda Barnes

Published in the December 2012/January 2013 edition of Wine Republic