in hong kong, i am finding that there is such a thirst for knowledge that, i think, the relevance of so-called wine experts will depend on whether they actively empower consumers by giving them the tools to make their own choices and become increasingly confident of their own taste.
not to "form taste", but to open minds to new tastes and other vinous adventures.
not experts as "dictator of taste" but experts as "evangelists" confidently and passionately teaching to convert "an audience with no intrinsic interest" into one that is increasingly involved in the purchase decision because understanding leads to increased pleasure and brings the enjoyment of the product at another level altogether.
wine as an hedonist pleasure with an intellectual component...(you read it first from me here)
maybe i am too naive but i passionately believe everyone in the industry would gain as a result...