Here is a list of important things about wine that people who are new or is a novice about wine should know. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it should give you enough to get started.
1. Wine is an agricultural product. Vintage year and region are the most important factors for determining wine quality pre-drinking.
2. There is good evidence that wine critic ratings are heavily biased and the perception of quality heavily impacts subjective experience of quality.
3. Some wine is better than other wine and your own perception of this is likely to evolve the more you drink.
4. Forget about pairings and drink what you like. True synergy between wine and food is elusive and extremely destructive synergy is rare too.
5. Different wine regions are very different with respect to regional flavor and QPR (quality price ratio). It’s best to experiment with a lot of different wine from different places to find what works for you.
6. Find a great wine seller and the quality issues will resolve themselves.
7. If you’ve gotten this far and done #5 then the wine your friend or family friend thinks is really, really good probably won’t impress you. The price of knowledge is that you won’t enjoy the simple bottles as much anymore.
8. The really expensive bottles of wine are priced as a premium for style reasons. If you don’t care about that then retail wine should be all you ever need to spend on to be very happy.
9. It’s always cheaper and better QPR to bring a bottle of wine and pay corkage at a restaurant. As a consequence a good wine restaurant will offer things you can’t easily get at the store or a good variety wines by the glass so you can tailor your meal.
10. Find an opportunity to drink aged wine, it really is different.