How to Taste Wine & Olive Oil

Wine Basics

Our judges smell, sip, swirl and spit a minimum of 200 times daily – this is how they do it!

  1. Look at the wine. Is it clear, brilliant, cloudy, or dull?
  2. Smell the wine: Notice the aroma—swirl the glass to liberate the aroma molecules then smell the wine again; is it neutral, clean, attractive, and outstanding, is the aroma intense, slight or none?
  3. Taste the wine: To taste, take a sip and let in some air along with it; swish the wine around in your mouth and make sure it touches all of your tongue, let it slide gently down your throat. You can taste the sweetness on the tip of your tongue.


Olive Oil Basics

Our olive oil judges tasted 506 entries in 2010! Here are their tips on tasting the delicious olive oils:


  1. Olive oils’ positive attributes/descriptors include being fruity, bitter and pungent.
  2. Hand-blown cobalt blue glasses that fit in the palm of the hand are used for olive oil tasting.
  3. To smell: The glass is held in the palm while covering the top with the other hand, swirl and uncover the top to smell the oil for fruitiness.
  4. To taste: Sip a small amount while taking in air at the same time which should cause a slurping sound. When swallowing, notice if the oil is scratchy on your throat, which is known as pungency.

2016 Competition Dates:
May 18-19, 2016