One of the things that restaurants do that makes this difficult — and continues the mystification of wine — is to provide just a list of names and vintages on a wine list, often without even any indication of the type of grape involved. Customers will either just pick a name they know or they’ll be forced to make a completely random, blind selection, or they’ll have to rely on their server to pick something. If restaurants provided at least basic tasting notes on their wine list, customers could then choose “something fruity and fresh” or “rich and red” and be more adventurous in picking wines they don’t know, based on at least a style they want.
There’s a lovely little Italian restaurant near me that has a long wine list but it’s just names and vintages, nothing else. So I’m slowly working my way through the list, Googling each one to see whether it’s the sort of wine I might want each time I visit.
Fixing that sort of problem would go a long way to making wine more accessible.