Hi Pavel thanks for the welcome - I must write my intro post soon
Apologies in advance if I talk (write) too much
I agree that if you say there is a raspberry or other flavor then it should be a real and detectable. And if you can do this reliably when you taste then you have my utmost respect (and I am also very jealous of your abilities
Unfortunately my experience is that 99% (or 99.99%?) of people who use these terms are not describing a real existing flavour (at least not reliably). Unfortunately there is also a tendency to use a “romatic” (and often inaccurate) style of description because it sells more wine - which in my opinion does a great disservice as it makes it much harder to find get a reliable take on what a wine actually tastes like. Basically it confuses the hell out of consumers…
Obviously it is possible to taste many flavours in wine and coffee (and other things like cocoa, grapes etc). However describing the flavors accurately and reliably is challenging (for me anyway). And I did meet one person who was a consummate master at this - he could reliably tell you the combination of acids in a wine (listing names ratios and approx concentration). He was also able to identify many flavors herbs, floral, fruits etc with deadly and reliable accuracy (he said it “only” took him 20 years of practice for several hours a day to perfect the skill - his words not mine). If I indentified one or two flavours he could name 10 or maybe 20… I can post more about the one (marathon) tasting I did with him later…
I will say there are many things you can reliably taste in wine, strawberry raspberry and cherry are definitely present in Pinot Noirs (they go hand in hand with concentration and intensity). Pinot also often has hints of violets - this descriptor is used far too often to be a pure coincidence.
There are some mineral (sometimes described as petrol) notes in some Riesling wines particularly if they are grown on slate soils apparently (though I am pretty sure I have tasted it elsewhere) this taste is probably (my guess) related to acid content - but it is much more complex than that - and also it seems to develop in some older wines also. This taste is not restricted to white wines as you can also get it in reds but it is less obvious as it is usually hidden by the stronger red wine flavours - mostly in Italian reds which often have a higher acid content than other countries (a good thing part of the reason I love Italian wine).
Other things that are easy to detect are citrus flavour (citric acid) and apple flavours (malic acid). Most people can detect these flavours reliably as we are all familiar with apples and lemons.
Detecting the different different types of Oak is also (fairly) easy American oak definitely has a stronger vanilla note. French Limousin oak also has a definite “typicity” or typical flavour. It is also possible to get an idea of the degree of oak toast (how much the inside of the barrel is burned) - basically a bit smokier = more toast (the same oak notes can be detected in whiskies too).
Another thing that is interesting in wines is “typicity”, which basically means that wines from a region, or wines made in the same way (with similar soil and climate etc), will tend to have typical taste that is similar. Developing the ability to detect typicity is very useful. For example Australian Shiraz is traditionally very big, powerful, ripe and fruity (made with very ripe grapes). It also tends to have very high alcohol content (ripe grapes again). People who criticize this style say the fruit is out of balance and dominates the flavour (true of cheaper ones - but the best ones also have massive tannins to balance the fruit and can develop for 20 or even 50 years). However you can find wines of similar typicity in Spain (many great wines made from Tempranillo which has a similar heavy body to Shiraz), Italy (Amarone della Valpolicella - made from dried valpolicella grapes) and Portugal’s Douro valley (made from Port grapes - used to be a bargain but getting pricey now). Note: Though Amarone is of a similar weight to these other wines it really has its own very distinct typicity with raisiny dried fruit tones(well they dry the grapes to concentrate them = raisin flavour) - once you have tasted it a few times you can always tell. You can probably add Zinfandel to this list though in my experience it tends to be more tannic - you can also try a good quality Italian Primitivo as it is the same grape (it used to be overcropped and used as cheap filler - but there are high quality low-yield example being made now - following the emergence of Zinfandel).
The problem is that developing the skills to detect this stuff takes a while (and can be helped by some knowledge for context - though that is not absolutely necessary).
So putting my decoding thing in perspective. It is where I suggest people start when doing tasting notes for wine = describe what you can reliably taste. Things that can easily be described more easily are things like concentration, colour, acid, tannins. You can also describe whether the flavour is clean (lack of faults). Most people can probably safely use lemon and apple as descriptors. Detecting the % of alcohol is also pretty easy so it is worth noting what you think it is (you will very quickly get accurate to within one % point)
To this day I still describe a wine with a plain or basic like “… light weight delicate Pinot, made from high quality grapes with complex aromatic flavors, starting to develop some good bottle aged characters, the wine has a good range/variation or acids which fill the mouth”. The next thing I will add is the typicity “made in a lighter Burgundian style” as it is quite easy to detect and is very helpful in understanding flavours (imho). But then I would add other things after that “some strawberry, and hints of sour cherry also little smokiness and limousin oak (= French?) a tiny hint of vanilla” but I prefer to add these as a supplementary description. And the previous “plain” description and perhaps typicity always seems to be more helpful to friends trying to choose a wine to they will like.
I’m pretty sure that the typicity thing will also apply to coffee. For example two high altitude, shade grown, naturals, from the same area would/should tend to be similar. Also I would expect to find similar attributes from similar growing, processing, in similar (but geographically separate) environments, using the same or similar bean varietal.
I believe (hope) that this approach will work when tasting coffees. So start with general “plain” description (which I would suggest always doing - at least in your own private notes). And gradually embellish with other things as you gain experience.
However to be honest this approach probably just demonstrates my own shortcomings - in that I am not able to reliably taste the various items that many or most others use in their tasting notes.
(Edit) And I forgot a very important thing that you should also record for wine (I would expect it to apply to coffe also) - how the wine flavour progresses or unfolds. Not sure if there are any clear defined/agreed terms for this. It is usually described in three stages the initial taste (attack) of the wine, the middle stage (mid-palate in time - not roof of mouth - there should be a better name for this I do not know of one), and how the taste lingers after swallowing (finish or back-palate). A decent wines to be good in all three phases, great wines also tend to have a very long finish (or aftertaste). The best wine I ever drank had a finish that lasted 3 days (OK I admit that must be psychological) but it had such a strong affect that I could swear I was still tasting it for three days.