Find a wine shop with educated employees that are interested in helping you better understand the product you're drinking rather than selling you the most expensive and overly ripe products. The biggest thing is finding products in your price point.
France: If you like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay drink Burgundy as that is what they are at the root (minus soil variations). Bordeaux wines are Cabernet or Merlot based wines for the most part. Northern Rhone wines are Syrah while Southern Rhone wines are typically Grenache dominant.
Spain: Wines from Toro, Priorat, Costers del Segre, Bierzo, Jumilla, and Ribera del Duero tend to fit the american palate because of their fruit forward styles and low old world influence.
Italy: My least favorite of old world/European countries. Really have a rustic style to what they make (more of an acquired taste, I appreciate and understand the country as a whole but wont go out and buy most Italian wines). Top regions are Tuscany (Maremma, Bolgheri, Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, Morellino di Scansano) and Piedmont (Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Dolcetto wines from Alba).
Australia: I personally find the region makes overly ripe and overly alcoholic wines that are horrible food pairings, however if you're into drinking jammy fruit bombs this is the way to go. There was a heavy craze drawn to Australian wines about 8-10 years ago but it really has died down terribly in the wine world.
Hope this helps on starting out!