As you start drinking and learning about wine, it's good to, at some point, to start paying attention to the varietal and its general characteristics. This will help when you taste a winery's Cabernet Sauvignon and compare it to, say, its Zinfandel. Knowing the characteristic of a varietal will also help note differences between the grapes taste and body when compared across wineries, regions, or from a different country.
When looking for wine info, I often turn to the Wine Spectator, both for its broad reporting and its attention to basics. They have some introductory information on Varietal Characteristics, here is one starting with the letter N:
"NEBBIOLO (Red) [NEH-bee-oh-low] - The great grape of Northern Italy, which excels there in Barolo and Barbaresco, strong, ageable wines. Mainly unsuccessful elsewhere, Nebbiolo also now has a small foothold in California. So far the wines are light and uncomplicated, bearing no resemblance to the Italian types."
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