Why is it perfectly acceptable to be uneducated about beer or beer types but not for wine? My point is that I've noticed that people feel inadequate and even embarrassed if they don't know about a particular wine type or pronunciation, but they don't seem to care the same way about beer.
Why can't wine be more like beer in this way?
Sure there are beer geeks who love talking about IBUs, yeast strains, and final gravity but those guys are cool. Wine geeks are the worst. Swirling and sniffing, using a French accent only when tasting a French wine. It's no wonder there is pressure to learn and be able to speak about wine instead of just enjoying as beer drinkers do.
There are a couple of solutions of course and it can only be rectified if:
A. You enjoy drinking wine
B. Its important or relative to knowing the basics about wine.
The easiest solution is to grab your highly knowledgeable and really cool wine drinking buddy (if they exist) and have him or her break down the world of wine for you. Just drink wine, pepper them with questions, take notes, study, etc.
The other solution is to try as many wines as possible, read tasting notes, and educate yourself. I've found this the most pleasant. A terrible way to pick wines is to go to a store and go off of labels. A better way is going to a local wine shop and talking with the owner. If that isn't an option, I would suggest joining a wine of the month club. There are dozens out there. The one I would highly recommend is Cellars Wine Club.
Just remember, whenever you are dealing with that stuffy wine drinker and you start to feel uneducated about wine it always makes me smile knowing I can get just as much pleasure out of a $5 pint of beer vs. their $100 bottle of wine.