Tasting tips provided by Count Francesco Miari Fulcis, owner of the Laudemio production at Fattoria Di Maiano – an olive oil estate featured as one of Trafalgar’s Be My Guest experiences in Tuscany.

When tasting extra virgin olive oil it’s very important to take note of the following:

1) Keep the oil in a warm glass, and cover the top with one hand.

2) Rotate horizontally, so that the oil moves gently inside the glass.

3) Take your hand away from the top of the glass, and smell the oil. A good smell will give off the scent of green grass. A bad smell will give off the scent of old fruit.

4) Taste the oil, and at the same time, breathe in some oxygen so the oil will have an explosion of flavour on the palate. A good taste will leave a light, spicy flavour in the mouth, and will leave it clean within a few minutes. A bad taste will come off fatty, rancid, and the palate will feel heavy.

This simple, easy way to appreciate olive oil can be done at home, although regular testing will involve searching for defects inside the extra virgin olive oil, which is much more complicated.

Reproduced with permission from Trafalgar, a leading guided holiday company. For more information, visit www.trafalgar.com.

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