If your knowledge of wine barely reaches beyond the fact that it's made from grapes and comes in red and white varieties, it's time to awaken your palate and discover a real appreciation for the fruit of the vine. Start by learning a little about -- and sampling -- some basic varietals (that is, a wine made from only one grape variety and named after that grape), to give yourself a foundation to build from when choosing wines for your next dinner party or holiday gathering. Most important, don't be intimidated; allow yourself to explore and seek out different tastes. "Wine is a pool of flavors, aromas, textures and feelings," says Mike Brown, winemaker and owner of Cantara Cellars in California's Ventura County. "Don't stand back, dive in!"