Tasting Guide

Daily tasting by Zefferino Monini

Tasting is one of the parameters that contribute to the evaluation of oils by groups of experts, who, on behalf of regulatory agencies, carry out product testing to assess the quality of the oil that the best-known brands place on the market.
Together with Zefferino Monini, let's discover the real taste of Oil and learn how to taste it with the help of the Sensory Vocabulary.
If you wish, you can watch a short video on Zefferino Monini's taste testing.

Pour the oil into a small glass and swirl to release all the flavours. Sniff, alternating short and deep breaths, trying to capture the different sensations.

Sip a small amount of oil trying to hold it between the lower lip and teeth locked tight. Draw in air with delicate suction first, then more vigorously in order to vaporise the oil around the mouth and bring it into contact with the taste buds.

Storing all the nuances of aromas and flavours recognised, exhale from the nose, so that the particles of oil mist, hit the olfactory membrane giving an even more precise smell sensation. If you have enough information, expel the oil.

Sensory Vocabulary

Sensory vocabulary helps you taste and judge olive oil.

BITTER: characteristic and intense in oils obtained from green olives   WINEY, VINEGARY: odour which is perceived in oils obtained from olives that have been badly preserved in which the sugars have fermented forming alcohol or vinegar.
PUNGENT: Biting tactile sensation with spicy after taste, intense oil , which is particularly rich in beneficial antioxidants.   MOULD: present in oils obtained from olives stored in piles in a warm, moist environment, reminiscent of the smell of bread mould.
SWEET AND BITTER ALMOND: distinctive flavour, with an almond after taste.   DIRT: the typical odour of oils obtained from olives harvested from the ground, reminiscent of the smell of the air in the first moments of rain.
FLORAL: pleasant sensation, reminiscent of the rich aroma of flowers.   WARM UP: odour perceived in oils obtained from fermented olives, slightly reminiscent of cheese.
FRUITY: typically olive tasting, aroma of fresh wholesome olives.   PHENOL: characteristic odour often in bad oils originating from Spanish Andalusia. (so called "cat wee").
HERBACEOUS: Fruity undertones, reminiscent of the aroma of freshly cut grass.   RANCID: odour typical of any rancid or bad animal fat.
GREEN TOMATO: aroma reminiscent of green tomatoes, indicative of certain olive varietals sourced from different locations (e.g. Sicily).   GREASY: tactile sensation has the after taste of oil that is "sticky" on the palate.
WOODY: sensation reminiscent of the aroma of forest under-wood (typically in Umbrian Oils).   REDDISH SHIMMERS: present in an oil stored incorrectly and in particular not sheltered from the light.
FULL-BODIED: tactile textured sensation of compactness typical of high quality oil.      
The oil’s origin, the extraction technology
used and fruit ripening, are characteristics
that affect the oil’s prevailing colour,
ranging from green to yellow, but without
affecting quality.