If this restaurant wine list looks Greek to you, relax. You're not alone. In fact, some of the entries would make even an expert do some head scratching.

Perhaps there should be a subtitle, too. It might be "After all, you should have far better things to do with your time than rigorously study wine." But at the same time, people are drinking wine like never before. We are perhaps a generation or two from being as comfortable with wine as an everyday beverage as our European brethren are, but the day will come. After all, the United States is poised to become the world's No. 1 consumer of wine in the next few years.

So, it stands to reason that if you are more than an occasional sipper, it makes sense to at least feel confident enough to make some wine choices knowingly rather than showing blind faith in someone else's opinions or just grabbing anything that's within your price range at that moment.

The problem is that even if you do want to indulge in some study, the subject matter is so hopelessly riddled with exceptions to rules, caveats, inconsistencies, etc., that you might very well think it's an utter waste of your time to even try.

Have you ever felt like a crab out of water when faced with picking the wine? Skittering around sideways trying decide on which of the hundreds of labels you're faced with in the wine store or restaurant is no way to make the choice for the evening's libations.You'd be right and wrong. It truly is possible to learn enough -- you only need a few common-sense tools -- to be able to impress and/or bore your friends, family, co-workers, Facebook "friends" and even the random person you meet in a wine store who looks more puzzled than you.

And that's where this blog section comes in.

In subsequent postings, I will provide some order and logic to what is often presented in a very cluttered manner. You won't know everything, or nearly everything. Ever. But you will know enough to, at minimum, ask the right questions when you're faced with making a choice among unfamiliar wines.

This section isn't intended to be a treatise on wine. Instead, it will simply provide you with the means to get to the ends -- a mouthful of a wine that you picked because you wanted to try it, not a wine that you got by default.

You are encouraged to post questions because there really are no stupid ones. Seriously.

Part 1 will deal with reading a label. It's harder and easier than it seems.