Tasting Olive Oil

Here are tips on properly tasting olive oil.

How do you taste olive oil? Remember the ‘four S’s’ (from Nancy Ash, Strictly Olive Oil)


Begin by pouring the olive oil into a small glass; a colored, tapered glass similar to a wine glass is best. Cup the bottom of the glass in your hand to warm the oil; cover the top with your other hand and swirl gently to release the aromas.


Bring the glass to your nose and smell the oil. Take a note of the aromas. 


Next, take a slurp. As you do so, touch your tongue to the back of your teeth and inhale. This spreads the oil in your mouth and helps release the flavors of the olive oil. You’ll make a funny noise, which is normal! 


Finally, swallow the oil and take note of the flavors you experience.

We recommend tasting more robust oils last, similar to starting with white wines and moving to reds. Between oils, eat a slice of green apple to cleanse your palate.

Many people are surprised that color identification is not part of the tasting process. It is a myth that color influences oil quality; in fact, professional tasters use colored glasses to avoid a ‘color bias’.

What impacts the taste of olive oil? The following factors make a difference:

Olive type – just as different grapes make different wine, different olives make distinct types of olive oil.  The olives are also impacted by weather and soil conditions

Harvest timing – early harvest oils tend to have ‘grassier’ flavors, while late harvest tend to have ‘buttery’ notes Time between harvest and milling – the shorter the gap between harvest and milling, the more likely the oil will have a fresh flavor

Storage conditions – exposure to heat, light, or oxygen will negatively impact olive oil taste


Canto Sol extra virgin is the highest quality and most flavorful olive oil classification. In chemical terms it is described as having a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and a peroxide value of less than 20 milliequivalent O2. produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (less than 86°F, 30°C).


 Our Olive oil tasters describe the positive attributes of our product in the following terms:


       Fruity: Having pleasant spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral. Green fruit yields oils that are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness also varies by the variety of olive.

       Bitter: Creating a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.

       Pungent: Creating a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat.


Canto Sol Extra virgin is the highest grade of olive oil. As with all virgin olive oils, it is mill without the use of chemicals or excessive heat and meets some chemical and organoleptic standards.

The chemical characteristics of extra virgin olive oil (as with all vegetable oils) give an indication of the care with which it was made and stored: how the fruit was grown, transported and harvested, how it was milled into oil, and how the oil was packaged and bottled. Chemical testing can also help determine if the oil is adulterated. The chemical standards for extra virgin olive oil are the highest of all the grades and, as such, offer a minimum guarantee of quality.

We are proud t say that we are the Judge’s Choice. Yes, 1st place in the Ventura County Fair of California! Here is our Score:

Olive Oil Scorecard 

Free fatty acid content………………………….30/29

Absence of defects………………………………..30/30



Total score…………………………………………100/98

Arbequina: It is rated highly for its early, high and constant productivity. The tree is a small and bushy, and responds well to pruning. It is an excellent choice for high density to super-high density plantings. It is resistant to cold and frost. It has a small symmetrically round fruit which matures in stages through November. The fruit is high in oil (20-22%) and has a distinct character with good organoleptic characteristics.

Arbosana: This Spanish variety is prized for it small stature and high yields. For that reason it is an excellent choice for high to super high density plantings. It is late maturing and has a tendency toward alternate bearing. It is resistant to cold. It has a very good yield in oil (19-20%) and a high quality unique fruity flavor.

Koroneiki: It is a tree of medium vigor with a spreading habit and open canopy. It is an early bearer and flowers early producing copious amounts of pollen. It is resistant to drought but does not tolerate cold. The fruit matures early to intermediate (October/November) and is high yielding with very high oil content. The oil is very pleasant and high in oleic acid and very stable.

​​​Canto Sol

The finest Finishing Oils