The Inaugural Australian Olive Oil Challenge
By Franz Scheurer
Australian Gourmet Pages already conducts an annual Australian Pinot Noir challenge and, as of this year, we are also conducting an Australian Olive Oil Challenge.
25 Australian olive oils were entered into the final judging and a panel of five judged 5 brackets of 5 oils.
The judges were:
Mathew Evans – Food Writer (Sydney Morning Herald)
Roberta Muir – Master of Gastronomy
Derek Nicholson – Distributor (Nicholson and Saville)
Danny Russo – Chef (L’Unico, Balmain)
Virginia Thomas – Retailer (Simon Johnson Purveyor of Quality Foods)
The winner is: Gwydir Grove from NSW
Followed by (in order):
Joseph Frantoio 2003 tied with Mount Zero
Redesdale tied with Dandaragan Robust
Joseph Foothills 2003
Joseph Frantoio 2002
Joseph 2001 tied with Coriole 1st Oil
Nicholson & Saville 2003 Frantoio tied with Ridgeback Park
Joseph First Run 2003
The following oils, suspected of being storage affected samples, were also entered but not rated:
Cobram Estate 2003
Flying Fish Angel Creek
Alta Vista Organic
Valley Produce Company
Nicholson & Saville Late Harvest
As most of the oils were purchased from retail outlets this illustrates the importance of correct storage and using dark glass bottes to avoid the oils being spoilt before they ever reach the consumer.
Congratulations to Gwydir Grove for producing a fabulous Australian olive oil! Thanks to the judges for their patience and lending their palates and to Joanna Fairweather and Peter Saville for stewarding on the night.