Shops around the Ashland Plaza are full of unique gift ideas, but there's a place you might overlook when strolling the sidewalks: Enoteca by EdenVale Wine Tasting & Bistro.
Wander inside 17 N. Main St., and you'll find more than locally produced wine on the shelves. Owner Anne Root, manager Misty Santos and the staff have collected bakery items, as well as other sweet and savory treats, to sell at their in-house, artisan-food market.
Tastes of Silly Rabbit Chocolate Co., Mocha Mudd Chocolate Java Sauces and other handmade foods will be offered Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 22-23. For $10, you can enjoy a glass of pinot noir paired with dishes made from chili-barbecue rubs and other ingredients sold at the tasting room.
While filling up gift baskets with unique treats, try a sip of syrah, tempranillo, chardonnay or other varieties of wine, starting at $5 a glass.
Root opened Enoteca in 2009 to make it easier for Ashland visitors and residents to find products made in Southern Oregon. She is a longtime supporter of regional wines and sells other labels here and at the Medford tasting room adjacent to her EdenVale Winery.
Some of the items for sale at Enoteca include desserts and confections prepared without preservatives. Many of the products by French Connection, an artisan bakery in Ashland, are made from all-natural and organic ingredients.
Lori's Salt Caramel Syrup ($6 for 8 ounces) is a fat-free topping for pancakes, waffles or ice cream. The Ashland company also has meringues shaped like mushrooms and acorns ($10 for a 3-ounce package) and a barbecue rub made of various paprikas, organic cane and brown sugar, sea salt and cocoa powder ($3.50 for 4 ounces).
Branson's Chocolate bars ($3.50) are based on 19th-century recipes and are handmade in small batches in Ashland. Many contain 52 percent cacao, and some are infused with ground espresso beans, almonds or blackberries.
Vintner's Kitchen jams, jellies and mustards are made in Talent from local fruits and wines, such as cranberry and pinot noir jam ($10 for a 9-ounce jar), port and cherry marmalade ($10 for a 9-ounce jar) and spicy mustard ($6 for a 9-ounce jar).
Shibui Sauce, made in Talent from aged Italian balsamic vinegar, is gluten-, salt- and sugar-free ($12 for a 2-ounce bottle).
SSmith's Hot Pepper Sensation sauces, which are made in Central Point, are a blend of seven peppers and flavored with peaches, blackberry-raspberry or merlot ($7 for a 6-ounce jar).
Tasting-room hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.