June 13th, 2011 Categories: Things to Do
Ever confused by all the different olive oils and vinegars on the shelf of your favorite grocery? Intrigued by flavors such as truffle or blood orange or even chocolate – but without a clue on how to use them and not willing to buy a large bottle?
Have we got just the store for you – Ah Love Oil and Vinegar in the Village at Shirlington.
Ah Love Oil and Vinegar is a boutique purveyor of artisanal olive oils and vinegars that can be sampled and then purchased individually in small or medium sizes.
Housed in gleaming stainless steel containers, the some 35 vats hold flavors like sharp chili oil, smooth basil, flavorful roasted garlic; aged balsamics; and classic Greek, Spanish and Italian olive oils.
The brain child of former leadership coach and association executive Cary Kelly, Ah Love Oil and Vinegar is one of a very small number of boutique oil and vinegar purveyors in the country.
Like all good entrepreneurs, Cary ‘caught the fever’ while visiting a similar store in South Carolina and knew immediately what her next career move would be.
In addition to the oils and vinegars, Cary offers a small selection of olive oil soaps and lotions, crackers, sauces and tortas, books on olive oil and antique oil and vinegar cruets.
For me though, the main attraction is the 4 or 6 pack “samplers”. Come into the store, sample every flavor you have never heard of and then pick out four or six flavors to take home. The oil and/or vinegar is decanted into 4 oz bottles, sealed and labeled and you’re on your way. It is the perfect way to experiment with new flavors and new recipes.
So far we have tried the Dark Chocolate Balsamic, the Greek Karomeiki Olive Oil, the Roasted Chili Olive Oil, the Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and the Basil Olive Oil. Our goal of course is to work our way through all the flavors before settling on our favorites.
In fact, these 4oz delights are so popular that Cary sold over a 1,000 bottles in her opening weekend! Recipes, pairings of oil and vinegar and information about the artisanal products are also available online at Ah Love Oil and Vinegar.
We just can’t say enough good things about this new shop – Ah Love Oil and Vinegar in the Village at Shirlington. Treat yourself to something very special. You’ll be glad you did.
And if you need a kitchen to go with all your new oils and vinegars, give me a call at 703.927.4554 and we’ll go house hunting – what a great combination!