Extra virgin olive oil competitions and olive oil tasting glasses

Next time you enter your extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in an Australian competition that claims it is using official IOC standard olive oil tasting glasses, you might like to ask yourself – and the organiser – if your oil really will be judged using the official glass.

There are Australian EVOO competitions claiming that they use this glass to judge all oils entered in their competition.

Or is this glass only reserved for use in judging oils in line for major awards and trophies?

The COF has heard of conflicting reports from credible sources, where plastic cups have been used to judge oils in the initial rounds of judging and where the IOC standard olive oil tasting glass was only used in the final round of judging.

After all, you are paying to enter a competition which insinuates all EVOOs are judged using the official IOC standard olive oil tasting glass.

Comments? I’m listening…

2 thoughts on “Extra virgin olive oil competitions and olive oil tasting glasses

  1. An interesting and important commentary. It’s not just about the glasses either, with many competitions posting photos on social media showing judging occurring in a cramped, inappropriately-conditioned rooms where tasters see and hear each other, where huge numbers of samples in open plastic cups being sampled by the judges quickly and without any control over the maximum number of samples per day, and the time between samples. There is a big gap between this and a real competition that follows proper tasting procedure and only certifies/awards the oil of the specific tank/batch that was tasted.

    1. A very European perspective on judging. From my 100+ experience in Australian and international competitions, ensuring independent assessement followed by discussion between judges whereby they can argue their case as to why an oil is great, and others can argue otherwise is both healthy and appropriate. I judged in an international competitions whereby a highly respected Italian judge gave every oil (27 of 27) in an American class of Ascolano’s 0 out of 100 because in his words “Ascolano is a table olive and should not be made into oil”. Why did he do that? Because he knew that by doing so he could ensure that every oil in that class did not get a medal when averaged (which fitted in with his narrow minded view of how the world of EVOO should work), and mathematically he thought he could go down lower than the other judges could go up. At the advice of the Chair his scores were ignored, which couldn’t happen under the pure and I would suggest naive model that you propose. So save me about plastic cups, number of samples per day etc. They are olive oil competitions which have their own unique challenges re how it is best to come up with fair outcomes, and very little if anything that is related to what you are talking about.

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