Watch someone taste wine. It is likely the first thing you will see is him/her swirling a glass then smelling the result of the opening aroma. It turns out all of the time I spent trying to nail down the descriptors for scents, I was only doing a third of the work involved in tasting. Looking for the structure, body, and feel of the wine on one's palate is where you can find the crucial differences in wine and understand the work of the winemakers. This has been one of my biggest takeaways.
I've also learned two important facts about the Burgundy wine industry: 1.) There is a deep emotional connection between those in the industry and their wines and 2.) Use caution when using the term minerality.
At the wine institute in Dijon, we were able to talk to a sensory scientist named Jordi. He was the individual who really opened my eyes to my own path and capabilities when it comes to wine. Jordi stated that there are no bilogical differences between expert and novice palates, meaning I am capable of understanding wine just as deeply as those we have met with time and practice. I look forward to taking this knowledge and continuing on in my journey with wine. As Jean Pierre at Joseph Drouhin said, "Free your mind for tasting"...and "New oak is like a razor in a monkey's hand".