I prefer red as well in general.
I love good Beaujolais, but have found the seasonality tough to contend with at times....I've bought a whole case of it just to have it on hand.
Merlot is my biggest preference.
I wasn't much into wine either until I went to college and worked at a restaurant--they sent me to wine school and it was only then I really got to appreciate wine in general, and I too realized that wine should be enjoyed, not lost in the "snobbery" that often accompanies it.
Like Logan, I would also tell anyone to discount the conventional wisdom of drinking wine, sniffing corks, etc...find what you like, how you like to drink it, and go for it.
Wine.com is a great resource.
One thing to note- I really enjoy both dry and sweeter wines. Some people's preferences on that scale will automatically preclude some varieties, but I love tasting smaller wineries' products, especially the Missouri (Stone Hill in Hermann MO
and Winery of the Little Hills in St. Charles, MO
), Wisconsin (Wollersheim Winery stands out) and Texas (Llanas) reds that are, in the spirit of their German heritage, more on the sweeter more fruity less dry side.
I personally find most California wines too much on the dry side for most of the things I end up eating it with.
And if you're looking for almost a dessert wine, ice wine is awesome!! Very expensive though, but well worth it, IMO.