For December, we’ve prepared a quick guide to some of Atlanta’s must-have artisan food items paired with the perfect wine.

Fortunately for us, there are many local provisions to choose from throughout the  metro Atlanta area. Whether you’re snagging some at your local grocer or stocking up during your neighborhood farmer’s market haul, these quick and easy-to-make meals will give you a few extra hours back during this busy holiday season. 

Bella Cucina

Bella Cucina’s Pestos & Spreads: Nothing says efficient entertaining more than a dip. Bella Cucina is known for its natural artisan, thoughtful spreads and sauces that are made from locally sourced ingredients. Owner, Alisa Barry’s  elegant and artful approach to “everyday items,” as she puts it, will elevate any quick snack or dinner party. The Artichoke Lemon Pesto, as seen on Oprah’s “favorite things” show and an “O” list magazine pick, is a must-have always, but definitely during the holiday season when you might be in a pinch for something quick. Insider tip: Be sure to ask for the Warm Artichoke Dip recipe. 

Suggested Wine Pairing: 2019 Domaine de la Noblaie Chenin Blanc, Chinon, Loire Valley, France. Average bottle price: $27

Stop Think Chew Cauliflower Bolognese: A brand that will always reign supreme for their grab-n-go items. Whether you need a pint of creamy hummus to serve alongside pita or crudité, or truffle chicken salad for lunchtime lettuce wraps, Stop Think Chew will surely be a household favorite. Julia Kesler Imerman, the brainchild of this holistic food company,  works alongside local farmers to bring healthy, quality meals to your table. Be sure to check out their Cauliflower Bolognese. This popular sauce is a gluten-free, vegan blend of organic cauliflower, San Marzano tomatoes, Calabrian chili, and other vegetables and herbs. Serve this on top of fresh pasta, and you have a meal in under five minutes. Stop Think Chew’s provisions can be found at their café, Daily Chew, located in Piedmont Heights. They can also be purchased throughout the city at your local farmer’s markets or even delivered right to your front door. Insider tip: Stop Think Chew will make the most gorgeous, creative, show-stopping grazing table for your upcoming event. Our favorite rule of thumb is “what grows together goes together,” so pair the Cauliflower Bolognese with a nice bottle of Chianti. 

Suggested Wine Pairing: 2019 Collazzi I Bastioni Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy. Average bottle price: $28.

Anna Bell’s Mac & Cheese

Anna Bell’s Mac & Cheese: This side dish has officially dominated Atlanta’s at-home macaroni and cheese scene. The perfect amount of cheesy, smoky, and creamy is what makes Anna Bell’s the best in town. We’re so grateful that owner Kevin Mobley spent the last 15 years tirelessly perfecting his great-grandmother’s mac and cheese recipe that he remembers from growing up in her home in South Boston, Virginia. Now we all get to enjoy this southern classic in our homes. Anna Bell’s can be found frozen in markets and butcher shops throughout Atlanta and can also be shipped to your home. We love pairing Anna Bell’s mac and cheese with a richer white wine that still has gorgeous acidity to balance the creaminess. Insider tip: Anna Bell’s comes in an assortment of sizes. Never purchase just one size. Get all of them. They are a lifesaver when you need to bring a side, or you can’t make a grocery run. 

Suggested Wine Pairing: 2021 Domaine de la Solitude Blanc, Côtes du Rhône, France. Average bottle price: $22.

The Spotted Trotter Nduja: We can’t rave enough about their Nduja, a Calabrian-style, spicy, spreadable pork salami that is packed with flavor. One cannot make a charcuterie and cheese board without including this Atlanta staple – it’s essential. The Spotted Trotter is a boutique charcuterie and butcher house known for its flavor, price, and sustainability. Don’t forget to grab a fresh baguette while you’re there. You’ll need it! While you’re there, be on the lookout for their slice bresaola. It’s life-changing. Insider tip: Preorder a restaurant-style ten-person or more charcuterie and cheese platter served on their custom wooden boards for your next event. 

Suggested Wine Pairing: 2021 Macanita Touriga Nacional Em Rosé, Douro Valley, Portugal. Average bottle price: $21.

2020 Finca Torremilanos Ojo Gallo Claret

El Ponce Tamales: The quick and easy dinner that you never knew you needed. El Ponce makes traditional Oaxacan-style tamales wrapped in banana leaves. Choose between pork, chicken, or vegan mushroom and poblano and it’s always served with housemade salsa verde. You can also purchase a frozen assortment and reheat them as needed. When you’re not dining in El Ponce, you can find their tamales at the Freedom Farmers Market on the weekends.  Having an office holiday party? They also cater as well! Insider tip: El Ponce, hands down, makes the best salsa in the city. Not only are we wine lovers, but we’re also salsa enthusiasts. Trust us. 

Suggested Wine Pairing: 2020 Finca Torremilanos Ojo Gallo Claret, Ribera del Duero, Spain. Average bottle price $37.

We hope this short, yet mighty list will free up some time for you to spend with your friends and loved ones this holiday season. 

Sarah Pierre owns 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta and is a regular contributor to Atlanta Intown.

Katie Rice owns VinoTeca, a wine shop in Atlanta and is a regular contributor to Atlanta Intown.