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It's the most wonderful time of year to support local in Ontario.

 

Welcome to the Official Ontario Culinary Gift Guide!

We've brought together the best bottles, the greatest gifts and, as always, the most delicious experiences from across the province. Any of these ideas is sure to knock the locally-made socks off that special someone on your list. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed curating it.

 

 

 


 

SIX SERIOUSLY COOL EXPERIENCES

With your safety in mind, we've put together this list to help make giving the gift of a great experience easy - even if getting everyone together around the tree isn't this year.

1 • TRUFFLE CAMP
Cindy Walker is more than a chocolatier - she's a storyteller. At Truffle Camp, you get to spend an afternoon in her shoes learning to make chocolate truffles from scratch featuring flavours that reflect Oxford County tourismoxford.ca/Truffle-Camp

2 • CHEF LED COOKING CLASSES
The popular Chef Next Door Cooking Studio in Windsor Essex is open and provides an opportunity to develop culinary skills under the guidance of local chefs. Class sizes are limited - so book early! thetwistedapron.com

3 • A DOME OF YOUR OWN
The The Village Biergarten in Waterloo Region has transformed their sprawling patio into a seasonal wonderland thanks to private - heated - six person domes. They serve a variety of local craft beers and shareable Mexican food. the-village-biergarten.square.site

4 • DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT
At Northern Edge Algonquin, you can book an immerse - unplugged - "Fire & Ice" winter retreat for your group of 10 that includes guided outdoor adventure, wood-fired sauna time and plenty of campfires. northernedgealgonquin.ca

5 • LOCAL, FORAGED, HOMEGROWN
Book a private seven course tasting on the farm with Salt + Sumac in Grey County. Joel and Hannah create magical experiences focused on hyper-seasonal ingredients with a story. sumacandsalt.com

6 • PADDLE PARTY
Whether it's an adventurous ride or a calm family trip, OWL Rafting offers quality 1 and 2-day whitewater vacations that include locally-sourced feasts to fuel your time on the river. Gift now, paddle later! owlrafting.com

 


 

STAFF SUGGESTIONS

‘Tis the season of giving (and getting!) locally grown and made things – and who better to make suggestions than our staff? We asked the team to put together their favourite, locally-crafted holiday gift picks for the foodies in their life. We hope they help you check off everyone on your list – even the not so nice ones. Enjoy!


 

SENSATIONAL SPARKLERS YOU'LL WANT TO GIVE (AND GET!)

It's more important than ever to support Ontario VQA wines.
Many wineries are offering home delivery. Many tasting rooms are open, but please book ahead.

2016
REDSTONE SPARKLING LIMESTONE VINEYARD
Redstone Winery

2018
NV BIG BANG BLACK
Big Head Wines

2017
BLANC DE NOIR
Kew Vineyards Estate Winery

2019
SPARKLING SAUV BLANC
North 42 Degrees Estate Winery

 

WINE TASTING FOR ONE

 

Want to add a little zest to your Zoom parties?

At Dark Horse Estate Winery, they're selling wine tasting kits for one. Order a bunch, send them to your besties and discover the wonderful world of VQA wine together - online! store.dhew.ca


 

THINK INSIDE THE BOX

Many Ontario restaurants, artisans and events have curated tasting boxes of delicious goodies to share with your friends this season. Here are our favorites.

 

 

The 'Making Spirits Bright' Holiday Gift Box
visitwindsoressex.com

Do you have a local wine enthusiast on your list? Order a Making Spirits Bright gift box at epicwineries.com to get the delivered direct to your door for $275. The gift box features all 14 EPIC wines featured in our gift guide – with a portion of proceeds donated to the Children’s Aid Society.

 

The Heatherlea Farm Premium Steak Butcher Box
heatherlea.shop

This box is loaded with premium Angus Beef steaks from Heatherlea Farm. Each steak is dry-aged in their controlled coolers and than hand-cut. It's the perfect gift for the carnivore in your life.

 

*Limited Edition* Sap Sipper Kit by Top Shelf Distillers
topshelfdistillers.com

Top Shelf has curated a number of themed cocktail kits, but this one takes the cake. It includes their delicious Maple Moonshine, a bottle of All Spice Bitters and a handmade Hults Bruk throwing hatchet.

 

The "Pay It Forward" Box
rosehallrun.com

This box includes 2 bottles of award-winning Rosehall Run wine, 2 cans of their Pixie sparkling; plus a slew of local treats like Kinsip Whisky Maple Syrup, County Fare Ketchup and more!

 

Beer Squad Mystery Box by Society of Beer Drinking Ladies
shop.ladiesdrinkbeer.com

This is the perfect box for the craft beer lover in your life. It includes 12 different Ontario craft beers, 3 surprise bevvies, SOBDL merch and 10 tasty treats by Ontario artisans to pair alongside. Supplies limited.

 

The Good Food Box by Foodshare
foodshare.net

Fresh, locally grown, culturally diverse produce delivered. The Good Food Box is a great way to keep your friend's fridge stocked with food that's good for you and good for the community.


 

NOTHING SAYS I LOVE YOU
LIKE ONTARIO ARTISAN CHEESE

This year, give the delicious (and nutritious!) gift of Ontario artisan cheese. Each one of these beauties will stand alone as a great gift, but don't hesitate to pair them with local wines, beers and treats to create you're own gift basket. Trust us, your friend/parent/lover/coworker will thank you.

For Camembert Lovers

COMFORT CREAM

Upper Canada
Jordan, ON

For Funk Lovers

LE BON SECRET

Albert's Leap
Vaughan, ON

For Blue Lovers

DEVIL'S ROCK

Thornloe Cheese
Temiskaming, ON

For Gouda Lovers

3YR OLD FARMSTEAD

Mountainoak Cheese
Oxford County, ON


 

HOT SAUCES FOR COLD WEATHER

These Ontario-made hot sauces make great stocking stuffers for anyone who needs to add a little pep to their step come winter. They're made with Ontario ingredients, in small-batches right here at home.

DIABLO'S FUEGO    supicucu.wordpress.com
This signature sauce from SUPICUCU by Panamanian Chef Rossy Earle is beloved by chefs and foodies alike.

HOTEL OSCAR TANGO    damiens.ca
This spicy sauce by DAMIEN'S is crafted from mango, vinegar, habaneros, garlic & fresh herbs for a deep and complicated flavour.

FIRE N' ICE    vishantis.com
This bright green sauce is VISHANTI PEPPER SAUCE's take on Trinidadian 'green sauce'. It's packed with cilantro for added freshness.

LIME FIRE    burnerfiresauce.com
This tangy, green hot sauce by BURNER is made in Toronto with no 'fillers' for a clean, even heat.

PINEAPPLE HABANERO    heartbeathotsauce.com
This is an excellent hot sauce. It's made with Sleeping Giant Brewery's Beaver Duck IPA, yellow habaneros and plenty of pineapple.  It's one of five signature sauces made by the Thunder Bay based HEARTBEAT HOT SAUCE.

SOLAR FLARE    peppernorth.com
This signature sauce from PEPPER NORTH ARTISAN FOODS is made with smoked pineapples and habanero in Oshawa, Ontario.

DAILO HOUSE HOTSAUCE    dailoto.com
Take home a taste of Chef Nick Lui's celebrated Feast On Certified Toronto restaurant - DAILO - on your next visit! It's made with fermented Ontario-grown peppers and packs a punch.

STARLESS    hurtberryfarm.com
Made with peppers and other goodies grown at HURT BERRY FARMS in Port Perry, Ontario - this smoky, mole inspired sauce features Canadian wild mushrooms.

FIERY PHEONIX    tropicthunders168.square
This spicy little sauce from TROPIC THUNDERS 168 is made with jackfruit for something a little different. It took home 1st Place at London Heatwave Expo Eternal Flame Awards!

HOUSE HAB    caserofood.ca
The team at CASERO in Owen Sound is slinging fiery haberno hot sauce with a distinct Mexican flair. It's got a  deep heat and slight acidity balanced with local carrots.

 


 

BIG BOLD BEERS TO GIVE NOW
(AND SHARE LATER)

These Ontario craft beers are big. They're bold. They're very giftable. We recommend giving them now, putting them down to age and getting together to share them with the local craft beer lover in your life later. Enjoy!

VINTAGE KENTUCKY BASTARD: Imperial Stout Aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

NICKLEBROOK BREWING CO
Burlington, ON

CTHULHU RISES... Imperial Stout with Raspberries, Cranberries, and Tart Cherries

Sawdust City Brewing Co.
Gravenhurst, ON

STORM WATCH: Red Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels With Ginger and Lime Leaves

Small Pony Barrel Works
Ottawa, ON


 

KEEP IT CONVIENT (AND LOCAL)
WITH HEY LOCAL

Buying local comes with many benefits for the community. Not only does it increase your community's economic health, but it's better for the environment as it reduces the use of fossil fuels, utilizes less plastic, and uses land more productively.

This season, make the choice to steer clear of big tech and shop small with HEY LOCAL. Their mission is to offer a fully local online marketplace with the convenient shopping experience of retail giants, filled with great products sold by vendors within your community. That's pretty neat!
 


 

STOCKING STUFFERS
AND OTHER LIL' SOMETHINGS

We asked our staff, our chefs and the artisans in our network for ideas on what they'd like to give (and get!) this holiday season. The result? A great list to help guide your shopping this season. Any of these locally grown and made goods will knock the handmade socks off the food and drink lover on your list.

This Ontario wool blanket made on Amherst Island

These County inspired tea towels by artist Kate Golding

These cold-pressed virgin oils from Norfolk County

This holiday salt set from South Pond Farms

This 'Adventure Cup' set made in Headwaters by artist Al Pace

These artisan sauces made with Ontario produce

This limited edition Kings Noodle Print from Hungry Eyes

This raw honey (+ beeswax candle!) from Vankleek Hill

This box of really good cheddar from Northern Ontario

This part tool, part sculpture corkscrew made in Guelph

This spicy maple syrup from Elmira, Ontario

These Prince Edward County made beeswax wraps

This beautiful 2021 Cape Dorset Inuit Art Calendar

This Wellness Tea Bundle from Pluck Teas

These award-winning chocolate bars flavoured with local ingredients

These wooden Chemistry Coasters made in Waterloo Region

This Toronto-made triple crunch mustard

This Holiday Blend from Detour Coffee Roasters

This spalted Maple Wood Pepper Grinder by Chic & Basta

This Champion BBQ Seasoning hand mixed in Vermilion Bay

This nutritional yeast popcorn made with Ontario popping corn

This Toronto-made ceramic pipe slash work of art

This naturally leavened sourdough delivery service