I know very little, if anything, about wine. Tannins? What? Oakiness? Huh? Paul Giamatii tasting cheese and asparagus in some sort of a red at the beginning of 'Sideway's? Pardon?
And how do I know what sort of a palette I have... how do I even develop my palette? Do I just start tasting whatever I can, or is there more to it? (Or is it just that simple?)
I'm 24, and I just recently decided that I'd like to learn more about wine. A LOT more. I want to know how wine is made, what differentiates a $5 bottle from a $50 bottle, and how to taste all the little differences between years, types, and brands.
All I know is that in the year that I really started buying and drinking wine on my own, and trying to serve it at parties, I like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and some Rieslings. I've had mixed results with Sauvignon Blanc; some have been amazing, while others I've thought to be repulsive. I've tasted Syrah (alongside a piece of steak) and found it horrible, but I'm sure I need to give it another go. I tend to like sweet and spicy foods, and I'd like to think I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to trying new food.
I can't afford to start regularly purchasing pricey (read: anything over $20) bottles more than once or twice a month, at the most. (I'm saving up for my wedding next June.) But I still want to learn as much as I can, if only to better understand and appreciate how wine is made and the experiences that come with drinking it. And I'd like to be able to go into a restaurant and know what to order, beyond just 'Any random glass of white because I'm having the halibut.'
Is there any literature I should read, any sites to check out? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! I'm actually a bit shy to even post this in the first place, but I guess the first step to becoming a wine aficionado is to simply ask for some help, right? :)