We here at The Wine Source Cheese shop are really into our cheeses, if you hadn’t noticed.  But, there are also  plenty of other things out there that give us a warm & fuzzy feeling inside. Since I came to The Wine Source a year and a half ago, something else that has caught my interest is our olive oils & vinegars. For many, and perhaps most, this may seem kind of lame. Olive oil is olive oil, right? 

To the contrary- discovering good, high quality olive oil for the first time is a remarkable experience. Like tasting real Parmesean for the first time, it’s hard to imagine going back to the cheap, grocery store brands afterwards. True quality olive oil has complexity, depth and character. It is not just a background player in a meal, but can really transform & elevate many kinds of food. Some olive oil is buttery, some peppery, some grassy or nutty, and some all of these things. As with well made cheese, each olive oil should exhibit its own personality.

We have always aimed to carry a variety of olive oils, and we taste each new oil & vinegar as they come in, so we are able to guide our customers to the perfect selection for them. But until a few weeks ago, we had been missing out on an entire market of olive oils & vinegars- a market I confess I hadn’t even thought about. And that is the domestic market.

Enter Heinz from Tasting Bars, LLC. His company provides exclusively American-made olive oils & vinegars. Adam and I had the pleasure of trying his entire line (Which, in hindsight, I actually would not recommend to anyone. We spent the rest of the day with terrible stomachaches from sipping glasses & glasses & glasses of oils/vinegars all afternoon.), and we were both quite impressed with the quality & sophistication of these California products. We fell in love with a few, & we now offer them at our store.

Robbins Family Farm- San Louis Obispo, California 

This olive oil is one of the most well-balanced I have had in recent memory. Delicately flavored, it is slightly buttery & fruity, with a subtle peppery finish. Not to mention the great label, which makes for an unusual & artful display piece.

Enzo- Madera, California

Four generations of Italian farmers on California soil make Enzo an oil that is delicate & buttery. Perfect for drizzling over fresh greens, or sauteeing vegetables. Certified organic and certified extra virgin.

Drizzle Champagne Pear Vinegar- California

This seems like a natural in a wine store! A wonderfully balanced mix that is both pleasantly acidic & fruity. Light, effervescent & smooth. Perfect paired with your favorite olive oil.

So still don’t believe me about the difference a good, quality oil or vinegar can make? We’ll prove it to you! Heinz from Tasting Bars will be coming in to do a tasting on Saturday, April 7th from 1-4 PM. And if that’s not enough to get you out of bed, we will also be doing a Rosé tasting from 1-4 as well. See you then!

-Caitlin

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