Interesting questions, I must admit.
I think it has come down to the two cuisines of my childhood: Chinese and Thai. I am a Thai citizen with Chinese grandparents. Asian food tend to be better paired with wines that are not tannic. This journey of self-discovery is another positive step towards defining who I am as a wine person.
To define the types of wines one prefers should be something that new wine drinkers should do first and foremost. Personally I believe that this is something much more worthwhile to start off your journey into the wine world than only focusing on wines from big producers and ignoring the rest.