Judy Ridgway : Olive Oil Expert

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Judy Ridgway

Olive Oil Assessments and Descriptions

Producers and Importers

Judy Ridgeway olive oil assessmentI offer an olive oil assessment service to both producers and importers at a cost of £125 per oil. The assessment includes notes on the aroma, taste and flavour of the oil, its general style and possible place in the market.

My descriptions can be used in all promotional material but cannot be attributed specifically to me as I do not endorse individual olive oils. However, my assessments may be shown privately to individual wholesale or retail buyers.

If I write up an oil in one of my books, articles or blog this may be quoted with reference to the book, magazine or blog and then, as the material is in the public domain, it can also be attributed to me.

I must point out that my assessments give an indication of quality but are not a substitute for official tasting panel results. However, if I feel that there is any kind of problem with the oil I will advise chemical testing.

I require a minimum of 100ml of each oil for three separate blind tasting sessions which I carry out over a period of three days.

Specific Service for Buyers:

I also offer a descriptive service to wholesale and retail buyers who may need to choose from a range of oils from a single supplier or from different suppliers. I work from numbered samples and give a short description of each oil and an indication of which I think are the best quality oils. The buyer can then match these choices to the oils with their prices to find the best value for money in their markets. The fee for this service is £65.00 per oil.

To ensure client confidentiality I do not know from where or from whom these oils come. However, after tasting I ask for information on the regions of origin for my own curiosity.

Staff Training

I offer staff training courses on olive oil for any company involved in the olive oil business. These courses are held at the client’s premises and usually take the form of a tasting class in the morning covering the following topics and a second tasting session in the afternoon to the client’s own request.

Morning session:

  • What is olive oil?
  • Standards for extra virgin olive oil
  • How to taste
  • Why taste and what to look for?
  • Basic attributes of olive oil
  • Faulty oils and how to recognise them
  • Describing olive oils
  • Concept of style in olive oil
  • Specific flavour characteristics

Afternoon session:

Sometimes clients wish to taste their own current range of extra virgin olive oils. On other occasions the request is to taste their own flagship extra virgin olive oils against those of competitors. Or the request may be to taste premium oils in more depth by region or by variety.

The fee for staff training sessions is £1,125 per day session with up to 10 participants. Travel expenses are also charged. The oils are provided by the client from a prepared list. These are usually all oils which are available in supermarkets with a mixture of branded, own label and premium oils chosen to illustrate the points above.

Tutored Tastings and Seminars

I am available to run tutored tastings and seminars on olive oil for producers, trade associations, promotions companies and exhibition and conference organizers. Fees are dependent on the length of the event and the time spent in preparation.

Those who are particularly interested in health and nutrition may be interested in the combination of Dr. Simon Poole and myself. Simon is co-author with me of The Olive Oil Diet and a recognized expert on the nutrition of olive oil and the Mediterranean Diet.