Like every decision about the Thanksgiving meal, choosing the best wines to pour can be a loaded endeavor. Aligning pairing notes with a meal of wildly varying flavors is difficult enough. We're also tasked with balancing guests who would be fine pouring glass after glass from a box with that one person who's going to sip, sniff and swirl, judging each pour as if it were a class assignment.

Rather than research trends and hunt down specific bottles, we reached out to local vendors pouring exciting bottles while keeping an eye on affordability. Not only have we harnessed the power of wine experts, but we also found a range of wine shops that allow you to choose your own adventure with delicious results at the end.

Salomon Undhof Grüner Veltliner Wieden 2021

$24.99; France 44, 4351 France Av. S., Mpls., 612-925-3252,

With rows and rows of all kinds of varietals, France 44 is the standard-bearer for great wine selections. Professional wine educator Josh Timmerman chose this bottle: "Salomon Undhof is one of the oldest family-owned wineries in Austria. Their Wieden Grüner is outstanding. Grüner Veltliner is an underutilized food pairing wine, and a perfect accompaniment to many of the classic Thanksgiving dishes."

Come for the holiday wine suggestions, stay to scope out the store's recent massive remodeling. There's also a cheese and deli case, so grab all kinds of gourmet snacks to kick off the big meal.

Weinbau Paetra Riesling 2020 and Miner Mendocino Gibson Ranch Rosato 2021

Both $19.99; Solo Vino, 517 Selby Av., St. Paul,

This boutique wine shop in St. Paul's Cathedral Hill district is perfect for picking out a bottle to match a mood. Need a bottle that pairs with a new Netflix series and Thai takeout? This is the shop and staff up to the task. For Thanksgiving, shop owner Chuck Kanski picked two bottles that will pair well with the traditional dinner.

"The thing to remember about Thanksgiving is that riesling is the perfect wine for turkey: fresh, dry, clean and juicy," Kanski said of the Paetra riesling, made in Oregon's Willamette Valley. "This is the most lovable grape for wine geeks." He also said this is a perfect bottle to bring together those wine geeks and the more casual drinker.

Solo Vino is known for its annual rosé festival, so the rosato from Napa-based Miner Family Wines right on brand. Made from Sangiovese grapes, it's built for sipping with a rich meal.

Both bottles are normally priced at $24.99, but are on sale leading up to the holiday weekend.

Foris Dry 'Estate' Gewürztraminer and Tiberio Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Montepulciano

$16.99 and $24.99, Sip Better, 707 N. 3rd St., Mpls., 612-354-3515,

Sommelier Leslee Miller picks wines like a long-lost friend who knows everything about everything with nary an air of superiority. Her new shop is tucked into the back of a nondescript building in the North Loop, and getting there is its own adventure. Once inside, you'll find the shelves lined with wine from small women-run producers and plenty of affordable and quirky bottles just waiting to become your new food-pairing favorite.

"Everyone needs a classic for the holiday — am I right?" said Miller. "Gewürztraminer is just that grape. Squashes, pumpkiny spiced, coined carrots, sides, apps and beyond — this deliciously bright (and lifted) dry version of gewürz makes for the perfect pairing to all things Thanksgiving, spiced and savory fall." This one's from Foris Vineyards in Oregon's Rogue Valley.

If you're up for fresh and crunchy, Miller suggests the textured, light-bodied red with cranberry vibes from Abruzzo, Italy. "I honestly cannot stop drinking it," she said. "Pomegranate, cranberry and raspberry, surrounded by a bit of savory Italian herb — this outstanding red is my number one pick for wild rice, poultry, stuffing and all those leafy and roasted veggie sides you'll enjoy on turkey day."

The Diver Sparkling Brut and Campuget 'Tradition' Rosé 2021

$19.99 and $13.99; Violet Wine, 2435 NE. Marshall St., Mpls., 612-208-0008,

This new shop in northeast Minneapolis is the realization of a dream for two wine experts. Erikka Curran and Fred Petters have stocked this lovely store with wines from biodynamic producers, with a focus on vineyards run by women and people of color. Even if they're busy, bottles are tagged with little notes about the wine's personality and the vintners.

Curran's suggestion is to pour a sparkling brut from the Diver at the beginning of the meal. Crafted by self-proclaimed rule-breaking winemakers, it's a sparkling California blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and gewürztraminer. The flavor is a little sweet with notes of lemon custard, peach and a floral aroma. The bright lemon notes would pair wonderfully with turkey at the dinner table or with soft cheese beforehand.

Petters suggests the Campuget "Tradition" Rosé from Provence, France. This wine is a classic example of why rosé from this region has set the standard by which all rosés are compared. "It's an ideal wine for Thanksgiving because it goes so very well with the wide range of foods typically served — it will complement turkey and gravy equally well as cranberry sauce — a tough challenge. Raspberries, strawberries, herbs and flowers with a little salty stone."