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Olive Oil Sommelier Content

The course will cover the following topics
Agronomy & Olive-growing: 

  • From the earth to the fruit: agronomic practices and their influence on quality;
  • Cultivars and their different characteristics; Olive oil extraction and storage with a visit to an olive oil mill;
  • Extraction techniques and technology and their influence on chemical and sensory quality and on stability for the shelf life of olive oils. 

Sensory analysis & Organoleptic evaluation: 

  • Objectives; 
  • Anatomy of sensory organs and the psychophysiology of taste and smell; 
  • Nose-palate sensitivity;
  • Olive oil vocabulary, selection, and customer satisfaction evaluation tests;
  • Principal defects and their causes: fusty, vinegary, mouldy, rancid and muddy sediment;
  • The methods of operation and the physical conditions of tasting for product classification and specialist certification;
  • Definition, origin, causes and effects of “fruitiness” and the different scales of intensity: Delicate, Medium, Intense.

International Regulation & Standards: 

  • QUALITY – between stereotype and reality; declared quality, perceived quality and real quality; the international regulations and quality indices;
  • Standards, labelling and trade regulations;
  • A look into the most common fraud and adulteration practices in the olive oil industry and in food and agricultural products.

Marketing & Communication: 

  • The finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil: opinions, prejudices, economic benefits, wider considerations, and real costs;
  • A practical guide to wise buying and informed use;
  • Communication tools to highlight fine Oils and the specialist PDO-PGI certifications. 

The Olive Oil Sommelier in the kitchen & in front of house: 

  • Gastronomic education and harmonizing techniques for pairing and enhancing dishes: sautéing, frying and making outstanding dishes using EVOO;
  • Turning words into actions: instant dishes prepared at the table and operational techniques of preparation, presentation and serving;
  • Raw, cooked & transformed: the importance of primary ingredients, tools and processing methods for enhancing taste and harmonizing oil and food; 
  • Sauces, dressings, marinades and seasonings; 
  • Alternative use of olive oils in baked goods, pastry, preserves and canned food;
  • Aromatic and infused oils: an objective reflection;
  • Olive oil list: how to complete an olive oil pairing list for the correct oil and food combination with practical serving suggestions;
  • Olive derivatives and their use in food preparation, cocktails and soft drinks.

Health, wellbeing & nutrition: 

  • Mediterranean diet: healthy living and flavour;
  • Different fats in the kitchen, their characteristics and their nutritional properties; 
  • Olive oil in the healthy kitchen balancing weight, taste and calories;
  • Extra virgin olive oil in anti-ageing, cardiovascular and metabolic health, and its preventative role. 

More thank 100 alternative uses of olive oil

  • The amazing rich history of the olive tree and olive oil
  • The impact of olive oil on commerce, religion, health, beautification and culinary practices
  • Clever uses for olive oil:  in the house to clean, polish, and preserve; in the kitchen to drizzle, marinate, sauté and bake; in the bathroom to beautify and treat your skin, hair and hands; and in the bedroom… well, use your imagination.
  • Sharing of family formulas and stories 

Guided tasting and practical tests: 
• More than 50 oils of different international origins using various forms and tasting sheets for product evaluation and for competitions. 

The course is conducted in English and our teachers and panel leaders are highly qualified and internationally renowed experts in their field.

For more information on our instructors see the gallery of Our Experts


Olive Oil Academy
by Gruppo IRVEA
Via Verdi, 2 - C.C.I.A.A. - 43100 Parma (PR) - Italy

Tel. +39 0521 184 1531
Fax. +39 0521 148 0029