RonicaJM wrote: It seems like reading a review of the wine might help me identify some of what I was suppose to be sensing.
I agree with some of the other folks who cautioned against too much suggestion from others' opinions. You're not "supposed" to be getting anything other than what you get. I find that I can taste virtually anything in a wine if I am trying to.
I'm also probably different from a lot of folks in that I don't spend too much time trying to define specific fruit taste-alikes. Whether it shows red or black hits me right away, but I don't know the specific berries and such. For one thing, I didn't like fruit as a kid, so I'm missing memories for comparison that some people have. For me there are also other fascinating discoveries, such as the balance of fruit, acidity and tannins, complexity, geometry and timing of the various expressions in the nose and taste, concentration of fruit, power of the nose, length of the finish, stage of evolution, identification with appellation, and all the ineffable qualities, such as breeding and depth.
Also in my case, I have a hard time telling one California red from another. I admit that I haven't drunk many of the $100 plus Cal reds, which might be more interesting. I think there are more varied qualities in French reds - especially Bordeaux, which makes them more interesting and fun for me. And there are many interesting Bordeaux to be had for under $20.