Food Stuff
Jonathan Van Ness, olive oil, and wine glasses

JVN Tasted Olive Oil Out Of A Wine Glass, So I Tried It Too

I trust him with my life.

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 
Jim Spellman/Getty Images/Shutterstock

In Elite Daily’s I Tried series, we put celebrities’ favorite products, recipes, and routines to the test to show you what living like your fave star is really like. In this piece, we try Jonathan Van Ness’ trick of tasting olive oil from a wine glass.

As a grooming expert, Jonathan Van Ness’ Instagram has long been a hub for styling tips and self-love inspo. But ever since the Queer Eye star branched out with his informative Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness podcast (along with his new Netflix show of the same name), his socials have also been a source of all kinds of interesting lessons and nifty factoids. Following him on Instagram is like reading a colorful, ultra-positive encyclopedia.

I’ve always been tickled by what JVN shares, but it was his post from March 3, 2022, that really caught my attention. In a promo video for the Getting Curious podcast (Episode 254, to be precise), JVN struts around in a kitchen and dramatically pours olive oil into a wine glass, then hilariously tastes it as if it were the finest of rare wines. Although some people might feel icky about this idea, it totally piqued my interest. This is a promo for his podcast episode diving deep into the world of olive oil — so, I wondered, is that how you’re supposed to taste olive oil?

In addition to JVN’s fabulous pink boots, the video especially spoke to me because my husband is a major foodie. I’ve become accustomed to him wandering up and handing me whatever it is that he wants me to taste, and olive oils are a common commodity in our household. Usually, he presents olive oil for me to taste out of a shot glass or a martini glass. This method seemed a little odd the first time I tried it, but I rolled with it. Now, it’s just a standard thing that happens in our house.

To me, JVN’s wine glass tasting method just seemed like a fancier version of what I was already doing. So, in hopes of giving my normal tasting experience the JVN touch, I gathered up some oils, grabbed a few wine glasses, and tried it out.

The Setup

Photo by Kalistrya

We have a *lot* of olive oil on hand at any given time. There’s everything from the big gallon jug from Costco that fills the squirt bottle on the counter, to the sets that people got us as gifts, to weird mail-order stuff my husband sometimes buys.

I went with a selection of three: the Herbs De Provence oil from a mail-order company called “Under The Olive Tree,” the Lucini that we got at the local supermarket, and the Cobram Estate (aka fancy Australian stuff from Wegmans).

I also tried three different wine glasses: a crystal rosé glass, a standard wine glass we got at a tasting, and a big red wine glass with a long fancy stem — a wedding registry gift that we don’t use enough.

Photo by Kalistrya

Also pictured: the two glasses Mr. Bundel usually gives me to taste olive oil in, a standard small shot glass and a martini glass. More on that later.

The Tasting

Photo by Kalistrya

In practice, sipping olive oil from a wine glass wasn’t odder than any other oil tasting in my household. But two things became evident fairly quickly.

Photo by Kalistrya

One: You don’t need the bowl shape of a wine glass to do the tasting. Wine glasses are designed the way they are primarily because of the aeration the bowl shape provides, which helps give the wine its flavor. But olive oil is not wine — it’s oil. You don’t aerate it. So although it smelled nice and all, the wine glass wasn’t adding anything to the tasting.

Photo by Kalistrya

Two: The large volume of the wine glasses encouraged me to pour more oil than was necessary. Like, a lot more. For an olive oil tasting, you don’t need a lot, but the large receptacles made it difficult to gauge just how much I was pouring. After my tasting, I then had to figure out how to get the leftover oil out so I could dip bread into it and not let it go to waste.

Photo by Kalistrya

Compare the amount here to the amount in the shot glass.

Photo by Kalistrya

As you can see, one of these doesn’t waste oil. And it’s not any of the wine glasses.

Photo by Kalistrya

As for dipping, a martini glass is way easier to sop up extra olive oil with the bread without it being awkward.

The Cleanup

Photo by Kalistrya

The cleanup was like any other tasting with wine glasses: hand-wash only. Wine glasses can’t go in the dishwasher. (Well, ours can’t, or I’ll never hear the end of it.)

Photo by Kalistrya

If you’re used to cleaning out wine glasses as a regular thing, then there’s nothing special here — but it did remind me why I rarely use the glasses we got for our wedding. They’re tough to clean!

Final Thoughts

Photo by Kalistrya

This experiment was a fun excuse to hang out in my backyard along with a charcuterie board on a nice spring day. But Mr. Bundel won’t be handing me olive oils to taste in wine glasses again anytime soon. We’ll keep using those for wine, and leave the olive oil to taste in smaller, more practical glassware. Yass, henny!

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