This Christmas, why not give a fellow food- or wine-lover a gift with a local twist? Here are a few ideas:
- Blackjack Gardens greenhouse tomatoes. For the first time, these popular local tomatoes will be packaged for giving or for mailing as holiday gifts. www.blackjacktomatoes.com or 836-2933 (ask for Mary Jo Byrd or Sandy Hager).
- Morgan Creek Vineyards has its new Vulcan Red wine available in a gift package that includes a bottle of the wine, a Vulcan wine stopper, two wine glasses with Morgan Creek etchings in a handsome box. You can buy the wine at most stores in the area; the gift package is available at the winery in Harpersville. Call 966-1421.
- Ozan Winery in Calera is offering 15 percent off specials during December, and offers two- and three-bottle boxed wine gifts. If you can't get to the winery before Christmas, they can ship to Alabama residents -- e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 668-6926.
- Local barbecue sauces, salad dressings and marinades are available at a number of area stores, including Ollie's, Mike Wilson's Saw Sauce, George's Old Time Barbecue Sauce, Mr. P's, Demitri's, Dale's Seasoning, John's Slaw dressing, Sneaky Pete's hot dog sauce, Daddy-Natty's Barbecue Sauce, Big Bob Gibson's white barbecue sauce, etc. Put together a gift box of several.
- Susan Wimberly's new line of dinnerware is embellished with drawings of more than a dozen Birmingham landmarks, from Sloss Furnaces and Rickwood Field to the Alabama Theatre and the Civil Rights Institute. They are available at Harmony Landing in Homewood; Smith Variety in Mountain Brook and Homewood; Lamb's Ears in Cahaba Heights; Annabelle's in Vestavia Hills; an Swoozie's at The Summit. A Christmas ornament features the Birmingham skyline, and the collection also includes tea towels.
- Gift cards for cooking classes at Viva The Chef, available for adults or children. www.vivathechef.com, 205-967-VIVA.
- Hot and Hot Fish Club offers its signature pottery, signature coffee, as well as hats and T-shirts, available for ordering online. Signature gift pack is pictured here.
- O'Henry's Coffee offers shopping for its locally roasted coffees as well as gift packages online at www.ohenryscoffees.com.
- And, of course, don't forget about the option of giving someone a gift certificate to a local restaurant they'd enjoy. Just because the restaurant doesn't advertise this option (Hot and Hot offers them online) doesn't mean they won't be happy to sell you one.