I took a bit of time to re-read all the posts, and wanted to thank everyone for their thoughtful posts.
I have decided to not aim to develop a professional palate, but I am going to make the effort to develop a more educated and sophisticated palate. I'd like to get the most bang for my wine buck, and one way to do that, (besides ordering from woot!), is to know more about what I'm buying, how it is likely to taste in general, what I should look for in particular when I am tasting, and be able to describe those aromas and tastes in terms that will enable others to have a clear idea of my experience. I want to enjoy my $10 bottle of wine, and enjoy my $30+ bottle of wine, in the proper context.
MM, I truly think wine tasting is a subjective palate, just as color & design, music, literatue, etc. are subjective. Can we all recognize and appreciate fine literature, art and music? Of course, I think we see the balance(ing) in effect; but is it to our taste? Not always.
An anecdote: I have a room in my house, totally decorated to my taste, most whims realized. Every time I walk into this room, I feel calm, a sensation of decompressing washes over me, and I am so pleased to be in this room, I cannot imagine anyone disliking this room. Guess what: this room is painted in what's called Douglas Fern, a fairly bright, NOT lime green, more of a grassy green. I have a few friends who detest green but funny enough, they all say, "usually I detest green, but this room is not so bad", or "it works", or "I like it", though they do not appreciate it on the level I do. To me this demonstrates that even though something is not to someone's taste, if it is done well, if it is in balance, it will be appreciated, if not desired.