Well, interesting question. The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson, of which a new edition is just out or will be shortly, has an interesting article on such wine literature.
It seems largely to be a British invention: the U.K. leisure class looked at French (initially) wine in a fundamentally different way than the denizens of the wine producing countries. They analysed and "intellectualised" it. George Saintsbury, an Oxbridge literature professor, wrote of wine in this way - and whisky - in his well known Notes on a Cellar Book (circa 1918).
This kind of literature seems to have gotten going in particular from the 1960's, and it specialised in, if not invented, wine description using commonplace metaphor and simile ("this smells like rose petals") as opposed to lab analytical and similar scientific talk. Hugh Johnson, still active, was an early, influential participant.
But I think the phenomenon of describing wine or any drink this way really goes back much further, just intermittently and non-methodically.
Buy that Oxford Companion to Wine, Mike. Even though it is devoted to a different drink it sheds light on many questions we discuss here.