GregT - it is is surprisingly hard to get people who are willing to settle down and really learn about the wine as opposed to just drink/taste it.
Thanks for these great additional suggestions. I have been pleasantly surprised how easy it is to find diverse, affordable wines from shops in the Phoenix area. Also, I'm going wine tasting in Oregon in a couple weeks so I am really looking forward to that! I love learning about wine, but you are absolutely right that just enjoying a glass in good company is wonderful too. You can't go wrong when you have a glass of good wine!