It sounds like you made some nice choices!
I am a wine lover who also works in the business (working on behalf of a number of wineries) so I have had a chance to try quite a few wines and talk to a lot of people about what they like. I have found that some great wines for beginners who are not quite sure where to begin are wine blends, and in your case, red blends. Some good ones I have had the fortune of trying recently are: Jacob's Creed Red Blend (from Australia), Graffigna Elevation Red Blend (from Argentina) and Dead Bolt Winemaker's Red Blend (from Napa Valley, CA). You might want to give these a try next time, as they are all very versatile and tend to pair well with foods.