Haha, I know all to well about "tasting" certain flavors. I can not do it either. Though my friends swear the taste is there.
all very helpfully information. I feel like going to a wine tasting. Though I would probably swallow and forget to spit.
You don't have to spit, I never do!
Wine drinking tips: make sure you are inhaling when you drink so that you get the full bouquet. Also, try to 'push' the wine into the roof of your mouth using your tongue - this forces the wine into taste buds which aren't prominent on the surface of your tongue, so you get a fuller taste.
The flavor tasting shows up over time, I never used to be able to tell the difference either. Same with coffee actually.
Most of all, relax! Wine is supposed to be fun.
I agree with others here that 10-15 will get you a great bottle of wine these days. If it's a regular meal, not a special meal, don't splurge - buy Table wine! I drink glasses of Two Buck Chuck out here in CA all the time with dinner.