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Go to a restaurant with a wine connoisseur and you’ll quickly learn that one doesn’t just take a sip of wine once it’s poured. In fact, most wine experts agree there’s a very methodical way to drink a glass of your fave pinot noir: Swirl the glass to aerate the wine, examine the hues, waft the aromas, and then, take a very small sip, allowing the liquid to coat your taste buds as you pick up on the subtle notes of strawberry and burnt oak. Of course, there’s a ton more that goes behind a day in the life of a sommelier, but you get the gist.

Come to find out, this process doesn’t only apply to the bottle of Malbec sitting in your cupboard (or cellar)—it’s actually quite similar to how you should taste test olive oil for quality. We caught up with Katerina Mountanos, a Greek-American olive oil sommelier and founder of the olive oil brand Kosterina, to learn the proper steps for identifying good-quality olive oil—and, yes, it should tickle your throat.

How to taste test olive oil for quality

According to Mountanos, not all olive oil is created equal—but one of the easiest ways to decipher the higher-quality olive oil from the not-so-great kinds is simply by taking a sip of it. The caveat: It’s similar to tasting wine in that you’ll want to follow a few steps to make the right call.

Step 1. Prep the olive oil for tasting

“To taste olive oil like an expert you’ll want to pour your extra virgin olive oil in a small glass and warm the glass in your hand a bit,” Mountanos says. This action will help release the aromas as the liquid begins to heat up ever so slightly.

Keep in mind that the color of the oil isn’t as important for your taste testing session. “Believe it or not, color is actually not a good indicator for whether an olive oil is high quality. In fact, the expert taste testers that judge olive oil competitions do so in opaque—usually blue—glasses so the tasters cannot be swayed by the color of the olive oil,” Mountanos says.

Step 2. Breathe in all of the aromas

Next, you’ll want to gently swirl the olive oil in the cup to release even more aromas, and take a few deep breaths of it. “Swirl it around and bring the glass right to your nose to take in the aromas,” Mountanos says. “True olive oil should smell fresh, like grass or something fruity.” Conversely, if it smells musty, rancid, or even odorless, these may be signs the olive oil has expired or isn’t of the highest quality.

Step 3. Analyze the complex flavors

Finally, it’s time to taste the olive oil. Much like tasting wine, you’ll want to take a small sip and allow it to coat your

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