Coming from the mid-west, beer was my beverage of choice. But since I moved to California 10+ years ago, wine is what's always served with dinner and what I order when I'm out for drinks. But basically, I'm still a novice and let others do the ordering for me. So for now, I take the easy way out and order from the 90+ point rated wines under $20 list.
There's so much to learn! But I get a kick out of sharing just a tiny bit of knowledge to impress my family and non-wine drinking friends.