This post on bad wine writing from Bob Bly (a pretty well-know direct marketer and copywriter), entitled The World's Worst Wine Writer?, is interesting for a couple of reasons.
First, it highlights a poor wine review from a very popular publication, USA Today. If you wonder why "average folks" have a bad impression of wine culture, this is certainly a contributing example. To be fair to the writer, Jerry Shriver, it appears that he doesn't usually write this way, and his blog does link to great examples of wine writing like Dr. Vino and Vinography (both American Wine Blog Award winners).
Second, the comments to Bly's post illustrate how a cross-section of people in and outside the wine drinking public feel about wine and wine writing. It's a small sample, but it does serve as a reminder that not everyone sees the world as we do.
All wine reviews are a substitute for actually tasting a wine. The best wine reviews help us to understand whether we would enjoy the wine, and get us interested in finding out. And that means taking the audience, be it wine lovers or McPaper readers, into account.
And the same applies to the writing you do on your winery Web site.
Personal example? I bought a case of Dover Canyon Old Vine Zinfandel, Benito Dusi Vineyard solely on the strength of Mary Baker's writing (who was nominated for an American Wine Blog Award).