I finally made it into Vine and Grind on an exceptionally cold day in early January. There were not going be any casual meals outside or walks on the beach for me that day. Our car was packed for the drive from Florida to Texas and we made it all the way from Gulfport to Treasure Island that day. After our stop at Vine and Grind we had to rearrange the car a bit, after walking out with a large box of vinegars and olive oils.
Prior to this visit to Vine and Grind, I was not ignorant about olive oil.
But I also wasn’t very educated.
Many Americans are aware of the health benefits of olive oil, but what we may not be so aware of is the blending and mixing in of other oils that is often found in so many supermarket brands. Labeling of extra virgin olive oil isn’t regulated in this country and information about where a bottle was “packaged” is often meaningless.
Olive oil is all about flavor and it health properties. And because both can be compromised by heat, the best uses are in those dishes that don’t involve significant heating.
Vine and Grind has a huge variety of both infused oil oils and vinegars. Sampling is encouraged. Various size bottles are available and the staff can offer suggestions about which oils and vinegars go best with what foods.
Before you head over to the Vine & Grind, check out this post by Oliveoil.com – A Guide to Olive Oil Tasting. This post will give you an idea of what to look for when sampling oils, including color, viscosity, and aromas. What to watch out for. Learn how to notice the “retronasal aroma” and impress your friends.
Here are a few oil and vinegar combinations we enjoy:
Asian flavors: Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar plus Toasted Sesame Oil
For Bruschetta: Garlic Infused Olive Oil plus Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar
BBQ Sauce flavor: Olive Wood Smoked Infused Olive Oil plus Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar
Toasted Sesame Oil, specialty pastas, a few local coffees and other gourmet food items are also available.
“If olive oil comes from olives, then where does baby oil come from?”