30 May

Olive oils press ahead of wines as gourmet pour

By Lauren Beckham Falcone

Leave the chianti. Take the oil.

From tastings to housewarming gifts, olive oil is the new wine.“It’s a huge market,” said Kim Evers, manager of O & Co. on Newbury Street. “It’s becoming a big household gift because when people bring wine, they usually drink it right away. With olive oil, it lasts.”

And olive oil lends itself to the same sort of connoisseur chat that wine evokes – what region it’s from, how the oil was made and the undertones and overtones of flavor.

It’s such a talker that the designers of Boston’s new InterContinental hotel plan an olive oil wall/cellar of sorts to showcase oils from Europe.“It’s going to be fabulous,” said Erin Tracy, public relations executive for the InterContinental Boston. “We are even installing an olive-oil chandelier.”

And here’s a tip – if you’re into Spanish olive oil, get ready for a price increase.“Spain’s had the worst harvest this year, so supply will not meet demand,” Evers said. “I think the prices will definitely go up.”

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