And now for something completely different. Our weekly RECM hunt for best value artisanal produts has been extended to include olive oil. Under the chairwomanship of Reni Hildenbrand (below, right) the tasters tackled a line-up of two dozen in the foyer of the Taj Hotel this morning. Other judges included Benedetta Lami from Oliomio-Tem and chef Stef Marais from Societi Bistro. From the get go, things are different as the judges found the Pendock Wine Gallery “too cold to taste” and adjourned to the hotel foyer.
Five other points of difference with wine tastings:
1) sparkling water was requested as the Taj tap water “reeks of chlorine”;
2) a limit of 20 oils was set whereas wine tasters often have to tackle well over 100 wines. Of course they can’t but as wine shows are typically run as profit making ventures, the more wines tasted the bigger the profits for the entrepreneur;
3) forget about Riedel stem ware: airline business class turbulent resistant dumpy tumblers (above) are the vessels of choice;
4) glasses are covered with dainty glass ceilings to preserve aromas. Why is this not done with wines as cross-contamination from stinky neighbours is a problem experienced not only in lifts?;
5) Apples and glasses of unwooded dry white wine are used to cleanse palates in between tastes.
It’s a whole other world compared to wine tasting.