Taking root in Argentina around 500 years ago, olive trees are a natural companion for vines, enjoying the same poor terroir and hot climes as grapes. But despite the late start, local extra virgin oils (known here as virgen extra – a bottle that says any different is not what it appears to be) that come from Mendoza and San Juan are beginning to have an impact on the world stage as they pick up awards and recognition for their varietals and blends.
“You expect me to drink that?”
Let’s face it, that’s what we are all thinking when attend our first-ever olive oil tasting and a small vial of grassy-gold liquid sits before us. We are virgins in olive oil tasting. Or extra virgins, you could say. We’ve all done more than our fair share of wine tasting during our stay in Mendoza, but there is something weird about being expected to drink – or, OK, sip – an oil. And yet why don’t we pay more attention to the olive oil we consume?