While some of us have sommelier parents, I think many "wine people" stumbled upon their love of the vino accidentally- my mom drinks Arbor Mist so she was definitely NOT influential in my love of wine. I personally attribute one random encounter at a work-related dinner party during which I was exposed to "good" wine paired with a very decent meal- until that time all of my memories of wine revolved around the horrific headaches suffered during college after drinking too much cheap chardonnay (Toasted Head, anyone? I still can't stomach it...) That was sort of the "kickoff" of my love for wine and, although I do NOT have a sophisticated pallet my any means, I'm glad to say that I know enough to navigate a menu.
So what inspired you to have an interest in wine?
This question/thread is inspired by dinner with my friends last night where many of them marveled at my "knowledge" of wine and asked how I "learned" so much. They all seem very intimidated and have therefor always stuck to house red/white or beer... hopefully some of your stores will help me to expand their horizons!