August 26, 2010

Jetset: Verde Valley Wine Trail & Olive Oil Tasting

Think you've tried it all? You haven't - or at least until you visit Arizona's Verde Valley Wine Trail and their newly-opened Olive Oil Tasting room. Popping up in cities from LA to Napa Valley, Olive Oil tasting rooms are the newest trend in luxury food experiences.

Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders has 32 varieties of fresh, healthy and affordable olive oil and balsamic vinegars to taste. As different as wine and olive oil may seem, they are both a unique art form.

Each of the flavored oils and balsamic vinegars are displayed in beautiful Italian futis, stainless steel airtight dispensers that keep every drop fresh. As a part of complimentary tastings, guests can sample a range of flavored extra-virgin olive oils including roasted garlic, cilantro, and all-natural butter. All of the vinegars are at least 12 years old, Italian produced super premium balsamic vinegars and come in a variety of flavors as well, from blueberry to blackberry-ginger; they even have a dark chocolate flavor! (It's perfect for drizzling over fruit or ice cream for dessert, they tell us).

Owners Mike Kilpatrick and Dawn Waltman fell in love with Cottonwood’s historic atmosphere and home town feel four years ago and knew they wanted to be a part of the community. Combined with their location on Main Street and being neighbors with two Verde Valley Wine Trail tasting rooms, Pillsbury Wine Co. and Arizona Stronghold, they knew it would be the perfect place to open their store.

“Olive oil tasting is fun! And definitely unique here in America, but for many Mediterranean cultures it is normal to taste and purchase olive oil from a tasting room. To an Italian, olive oils and balsamic vinegars are like wine, you wouldn’t want to purchase it until you have had a chance to taste it.” Kilpatrick says.

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