I suspect that most of us are looking hard for a perfect, inexpensive but tasteful Christmas gift for somebody close. Do I have a goodie for you, boys and girls!?!
Visit Oliveto on Virginia 419 in Roanoke County (in the strip mall anchored by the new Fink's store and across the highway from Promenade Park). Oliveto features high end olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That's the inventory and it's high end, as in $14 for 200ml (about a pint).
The oil is the best I've ever had and will astonish we un-sophisticates who've never had really, really, really good olive oil--the green stuff that is the density of the 20W50 motor oil used in race cars.
Combined with a perfectly blended white balsamic vinegar infused with cranberry and pear, this leaves you at a point where you can just go ahead and die. The vinegar costs the same as the oil, keeping everything simple. So, for roughly $30, you can give the gift of taste that is oh, so rare in these parts. Toss in a block of truly wonderful cheese (more difficult since our gourmet cheese shop closed) and a little extraordinary chocolate and the recipient will fall in love with you.
Combine enough of these goodies (say, eight) and you get a marvy Chanukah fest.
(UPDATE: "Fresh Air," an NPR program, had this today. It tells you how to buy olive oil from a guy who wrote a book about it. There's a lot of scandal in this industry and most of what you buy is not what you think you're buying.)