I gotta tell ya...for someone who goes through 1000s of gallons of EVOO, I must admit there are some aspects i just don't get. Perhaps I'm a bit confused by contradictory info that I've read.
As far as EVOO, I've read that extra virgin is dictated by its acidity. I read that first cold press is simply the crushing of olives under weight and gathering up the resulting oils. Now I realize that these are two distinct characteristics. I've also read that a peppery bite is a good thing.....how is that possible if the acidity is low?? I've also read that sometimes, the dark rich green color i love so much is the result of olive leaves left in the oil...giving off a green color......
In a nutshell, I always look for FIRST COLD PRESS. I always want my best oil to have the pronounced FLAVOR of olives. That's where I run into problems.....because I've tasted extremely expensive and well regarded oil that has no olive flavor what so ever!! I don't have a great mouth for fine wines. I grew up on mostly homemade wines, so I just never got into them. I've tasted really expensive wines that tasted great, but also cheap wines I've liked.....I'm no wine expert. But, olive oil......I've been raised on it. But, it can still be confusing to me.
For the money, the best taste and color, IMO, comes from a Spanish brand called Goya. I've had better, but they have cost a ton more. I simple dont understand paying an arm and a leg for oil that lacks olive taste....but there must be a reason these oils are so well regarded.