'Tis the season for holiday parties, which also means 'tis the season for hostess gifts. A nice bottle of wine is safe, but I'd argue there's a bottle that's even better. I'm talking about olive oil — and right now is the perfect time to stock up on a case or two of your favorite brand.
Why Olive Oil Is the Perfect Holiday Hostess Gift
Hostess gifts can be tricky. It should feel personal and thoughtful, while still being relatively universal. With the prevalence of gluten sensitivities, dairy intolerances, and nut allergies, it's also a good idea if it isn't going to cause anyone to break out into hives. It's important, too, that it's something the receiver is going to use, not shove to the back of the pantry and forget about. And, of course, it shouldn't break the bank or be too time-consuming to put together.
Olive oil checks all of these boxes. Everyone uses it, nearly no one is allergic to it, and it's going to last a lot longer than a bottle of wine. It's also possible to spend almost any amount you want: An affordable, but still special bottle can be found in the $10 to $15 range, but you can pay $50 or more for something that really wows.
What's more, now is the perfect time to buy olive oil. That's because it's harvest season and the year's just-pressed oils are being bottled and released. So, what should you buy? Here are eight of the Kitchn editors' favorite bottles to give and to receive — and make sure to check the date. If the 2017 harvest hasn't been released yet, you may want to hold off a little bit longer!
8 Olive Oils That Make Perfect Hostess Gifts
- Georgia Olive Farms Chef's Blend, $32 for 500 milliliters: Produced by a cooperative of growers in southern Georgia, this blend of arbequina, arbesana, and koroneiki olives is light but floral with the prettiest green hue. This was our Associate Food Editor Meghan's go-to hostess gift when she lived in Georgia.
- Smoked Arbequina Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $19 for 8.4 ounces: Any of the olive oils from Castillo do Canena will make an extra-special gift, but their smoked oil is quite famous and probably the most unique.
- Stonehouse Olive Oil's The Cutie Gift Set, $25 for five, 1-ounce bottles at Stonehouse Olive Oil: We love all the olive oils from this California producer, and the flavored ones make especially nice gifts. If you can't decide which flavor, this set with Basil, Garlic, Blood Orange, Persian Lime, & Hot Chili is a good choice.
- Bona Furtuna Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $50 for 500 milliliters: This Sicilian olive oil is a bit of a splurge, but its soft, fruity flavor makes it a great finishing oil and its smart packaging makes it a really nice gift.
- Spannocchia Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $24 for 500 milliliters: This olive oil is from the farm our Assistant Food Editor Sheela worked at in Tuscany, and this is the olive oil she'd want if someone were buying olive oil for her.
- Estornell Oil, $35 for 750 milliliters at Williams Sonoma: This olive oil is made from the arbequina olives of northeastern Spain.
- Laudemio Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $38 for 16.9 ounces: Our Editor Faith loved this olive oil back in 2011 and she still loves it now. It's pricey, but so worth it. Since i
ts fresh, fruity, and spicy flavors come out in even the smallest tastes — with good bread, drizzled over a salad — a bottle lasts for months.
- California Olive Ranch Miller's Blend, $20 for 500 milliliters at California Olive Ranch: If you're regular readers at Kitchn, you know how much we love California Olive Ranch's everyday olive oil — but did you know that they also have more premium oils, like the Miller's Blend? Try it, we think you'll like it.