According to Good Housekeeping, Monini is the best broadly available extra virgin olive oil on the market. Good Housekeeping also mentioned Whole Foods 365 and Carapelli to round out the top three brands.
The term "extra virgin olive oil" refers to the highest quality olive oil. Producers use no chemicals in the production of extra virgin olive oil, but instead simply press the olives to extract the oils. Furthermore, extra virgin olive oil is subjected to a battery of tests to determine levels of peroxide and acidity.
After production, producers taste-test the oil to ensure that no defective flavors are present. Good extra virgin olive oil exhibits a balance of the following flavor characteristics: fruity, bitter and pungent. The fruity elements come from the flavor of the olives themselves, whereas consumers should sense the bitter and pungent elements in the mouth as an acrid or peppery sensation, respectively, that would not be as readily observed in a fresh, ripe olive.
Monini olive oil is a more delicate product with great versatility resulting from balanced acidity, fruitiness and complexity. As of November 2015, it is available for approximately $10 for a 17.9-ounce bottle. The less expensive Whole Foods 365 oil sells for $4 for the same size, and has a more robust peppery flavor. Finally, at $9, Carapelli is the most delicate of the three and best used with salads or soft cheeses.