Gourmand Guide

How to Choose a Good Olive Oil

Just like wine, choosing and tasting olive oil requires a bit of basic knowledge. Olive oil sommelier Wilma van Grinsven-Padberg shares her tips and tricks when choosing an olive oil.
Reading time 3 minutes

Wilma van Grinsven-Padberg is an olive oil sommelier. Just like for wine, there are many connoisseurs distinguishing good olive oil from bad. Wilma has been gathering this knowledge and expertise in Italy and New York for many years. At one of the most prestigious schools in Italy, ONAOO (The National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters), she learned the technical tricks to recognise high-quality olive oil and how to immediately recognise a poor-quality one. However, it was during a course in New York where she received the title of an olive oil sommelier, having aquired the knowledge from the very best olive oil specimens. Wilma bundled this knowledge into a book with answers to all the questions she has ever got asked about olive oil: "How is olive oil made and how many types are there? Is there such a thing as olive oil fraud? How should you taste and use olive oil? How do you recognize a good olive oil? And a bad one?"

Here are a few simple tips & tricks from Wilma to get the best out of your bottle of liquid gold!

How to Choose a Good Olive Oil?

Tips for Buying:

  • Go to a specialty store, where you can smell and taste the oil, as well as be assisted by the advice of an expert.
  • When buying olive oil in a supermarket, buy the most expensive one. The knowledge about olive oil in supermarkets is minimal to none, therefore, you should simply bet on the most expensive bottle. However, keep in mind that a high price doesn't guarantee good olive oil.
  • Good olive oil costs between € 8 and € 10 for 250ml.
  • Opt for small bottles in a dark green colour, as olive oil doesn't last very long.
  • Try smelling grass in the olive oil, as it is one of the indicators of good quality.
  • Spain and Italy produce some of the best olive oil in the world.


Tips for the Kitchen:

  • Arbequina olive oil is great on salads
  • Use a spicy olive oil for pasta


Wilma's Favorite Olive Oil:

  • Castillo De Canena, which has won 3 times the prize of the best olive oil in the world.


The Ultimate Tip to Surprise Your Dinner Guests:

  • Try vanilla ice cream, with black salt and a spicy olive oil… delicious!
1590695429851671 schermafbeelding 2020 05 27 om 17.19.45
Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil 250ml - Oil & Vinegar

To explore Wilma's world even further, take a look at her website or book Olive oil, the reference work.


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