Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{DIY} From Grapes to Olives

I am as much of a fan of olive oil as I am of good red wine. The two almost seem to go hand in hand and I have never met a wine lover who didn't also love olive oil. On the other hand, I have met olive oil fans who weren't wine lovers...I'm not sure how to explain that logic, but anyhow...You probably already know that extra virgin olive oil needs to be kept in a dark place, away from sunlight, much like you would your wine. I am a bit (ok, a lot...) of an olive oil snob and I want nothing but the best. My favorite olive oil company is located in Provence (where else?), in the village of Les-Baux-de-Provence and goes by the name of Castelas. You can either get it straight from the producer (like I did this last time around during a trip through Provence), or you can buy it from places such as Williams-Sonoma, Dean and Deluca, or Eurogrocer.

When I bought mine in Provence, it came in a metal tin container like the one in the above photo, which was perfect for traveling, but pouring it out of the container was too messy as there was no proper pouring spout. This gave me the idea to use one of my empty wine bottles (from a Languedoc-Roussillon, Southwest France winery) as an olive oil dispenser. French wine bottles very often have a decorative emblem etched into the glass near the top of the bottle, such as this one (this particular symbol is the emblem of the region of Languedoc-Roussillon, my home region):

Red wine bottles are perfect as an olive oil container because they are dark and can therefore protect the olive oil from the sunlight.

After enjoying your wine, and removing the label, rinse the bottle really well and let it dry. Purchase a simple pourer such as this kind (they will fit wine bottles, and cost about $4 at stores such as bed, Bath & Beyond). Transfer your olive oil into the bottle and voila! You now have a (much prettier) olive oil dispenser, which will also allow you to control the amount of oil you want to use.  Happy cooking!

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