questionscan someone help educate me on the various types…

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Wander yourself over to Wine.woot and stroll through the community forums over there. The people are SO full of helpful information and they are very friendly, especially if you tell them you're new to wine drinking.
Personally, I like a nice easy going Sangiovese.

Edit_ throwing in the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangiovese it's really more than you'll want to know at first taste. My palate is not sophisticated, I just know what I like and what I don't like, and Sangioveses I LIKE. I guess it's because it pairs so well with some of my favorite foods.

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@waltertangofoxtrot: Although the gentle and delicate @lavikinga has provided you with a good suggestion (visiting the folks over at Wine dot woot), I'd like to suggest a couple of additional aids in your quest.

First, please read through the Wikipedia entry on wine, so that you'll have a nice vocabulary of wine terms, and feel more comfortable in discussing them. There's a lot of information there, I know, but it's a pretty good discussion.

I strongly suggest finding some wine tastings. In addition, I note that there are some clever little six packs of wine (Beringer is one of them) that have some of the better known varieties in them, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (a white). Many times red wine is an acquired taste (I acquired it instantly, but you may not). You need to taste different types, so that you'll get a feel for what you do or don't like. In addition, wine with food is different than by itself. That pairing stuff isn't just for conversation.

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@waltertangofoxtrot: [Continued] Wines you should try, initially, include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc (NOT one of my personal favorites), and look for some nice Bordeaux wines (that just means it's a certain type of red blend). Price is a factor here. Something under $10 is going to taste like paint thinner, if you're lucky. On the other hand, if you don't have a developed palate for it, the $10-$20 range of wines is almost certainly perfect for you.

Fortified wines do not provide those magic benefits that your doctor mentioned, so I won't digress into the niceties of Porto, and Sherry, and the wonders of Armagnac and Cognac. Mmmm, Brandy. Okay, back on track.

The Pinot Noir on today's Wine dot woot is a decent enough price, but I'm VERY picky on Pinot Noir, and only buy it from certain regions. In addition, that's one you might want to try a bit further down the road.

I'm also less fond of Sangiovese than you-know-who, although it's okay.

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@shrdlu: "Delicate" LOLOLOL! It is to laugh. I've yet to pin down any other wines/ varietals other than Italian Sangiovese that I can say a firm "yes" or "no" or "yuck (with a hand gesture)". Well, I take that back. I have yet to come across a Malbec that makes me want to buy a bottle. Of course, that could be because after a few unpleasant run ins with it, I've avoided drinking it.
I find it's more of a "oh, I've had a bottle of THIS particular whatever and I liked it!" That happened with 2007 Helix Pomatia (a Reininger Vineyard offering). "Hello, my little friend. Come live at my house for awhile." I think we bought a case and a half. Same with Beaulieu Vineyards Reserve Tapestry (2007?). Fell for it hard.
I would offer the following: do what @shrdlu says. Read up on Wine and then buy a bottle or two of something affordable to you and taste. And then keep a tasting notebook. Helps to keep you from going to the store & saying "well, it has this sailboat on the label..."

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I appreciate the information from both of you, and am looking through the wiki articles on wine, and trying to get an idea of what I'm looking for.

I figure it'll take a while for me to figure out what I like, and what I don't like, but thats part of the fun of learning new things, right?

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I recommend looking for a new doctor :-)

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@ohcheri: I wish, this is the 3rd one who's told me to cut down on hooch intake. I've already dropped from drinking like a fish 6 to 7 days/nights a week, to having a quiet glass of scotch once in a while, and occasionally slam beers with friends watching a random Football game, but since I dropped from a $50 bar tab per night to a couple beers every so often, I was able to buy a house... not a bad tradeoff in my opinion,

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Just like finding that favorite brewery or style of beer, wine will come much the same. I'm NOT an expert in wine & despite buying nicer bottles, I buy cheaper wine for my "glass a day" quota. I would definitely get to as many wine tastings as you can (there are smartphone apps to track what you tried & if you liked it). Also for your cheaper wines, I would suggest a Venturi Aerator. It'll make $5-10 taste like $20 wine (but, it will also make $100 wine taste like $20 wine)! I'm also a firm believer in trusting your tastebuds. If a $6.99 bottle of wine taste better than the $24 bottle - that's fantastic! Wine.woot has some awesome deals and so does lot18 (if you want an invite to lot18, email me at caver2130 at gmail dot com - i think we'd both get a credit). Most of all, have fun with it. If you love microbrews like I do, you'll really enjoy wine!

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I know hardly anything about wine but, I know what I like. The way I found out was to go to a couple of wine tastings, learn what a dry, a semi-dry, or a sweet wine was, and go from there. It's kind of rare for me to buy the same bottle of wine twice, but I will stick with the same kind of wine for a while.