My 5-year plan for learning red wine

A couple of years ago, after a once-in-a-lifetime dinner, I decided I really wanted to learn wine. After stubling around in the dark, I decided to invest the time and effort to do it correctly; there was no way I was going to understand what makes wine special by randomly picking bottles off the supermarket shelf. I sketched out a rough plan (listed below, and modified heavily since) that would take me through the basics of the red wine world.

Two and a half years into it, and I’ve had some real eye-opening moments. I’m no closer now to finding a common denominator to the wines I like — and thus being able to predict whether I will like an untasted wine — than when I began. I’ve been taking meticulous notes and have several favorites, but with one or two exceptions I haven’t had the same wine twice.