Clearly, some food and drinks are better bought in person. But nowadays certain grocery and gourmet items can be bought just as well online. And, in fact, that’s the trend for items for both personal consumption and for gifts.

A few of my criteria for internet purchases of provisions are: non-perishable, suitable to be shipped, unique or hard-to-find, or cheaper online.

Here are some of the many food products I’ve bought online in the past couple of months: tea, wine, gluten-free pasta, canned coconut milk & pumpkin, jerky, specialty salt and spices, and dog food.

When thinking about holiday gifts you may be considering food gifts for the gourmand or wine lover on your list, and these days, the internet offers limitless variety. Plus, it’s a great way to avoid running around to countless stores or holiday markets searching for a needle in a haystack, and lugging any purchases cross-country in your suitcase.

Here are a few ideas for excellent food/drink gifts that can be purchased online:

So where do you go to find fun and connoisseur-approved provisions online?

Well besides the obvious, Amazon, which has everything, I’m a big fan of both Thrive Market and Vitacost for their curated selection of healthy products. Woot is a good source for wine and random gourmet-type gifts. Etsy has a sizable selection of handmade food products. And of course, you can always visit the websites of your favorite purveyors–many of them will ship for a very reasonable rate or even free with minimum purchase.

Leave a comment below–what food or drinks do you shop for online? Any interesting and unique holiday gift ideas?