The November report by Wine Intelligence 'Decisions,decisions:how UK consumers choose their wines' is quite interesting. Click on Wine Intelligence report for more info.
I have always been convinced that a high percentage of people walking in to a wine shop do not know exactly what they want.
They might know 1. Price or 2. Style or 3. Occasion or 4. Wines to avoid....but certainly I think that the quality independent wine merchants in the UK are well positioned to serve the 'Adventurous Connoisseurs' category that is 3.9 million consumers in the UK spending an average of £660 each on wine annually.
The other interesting part of the Wine Intelligence Briefing was the reach of wine critics.
The table featured here below is quite controversial (click on it to enlarge)as the awareness does not immediately translate to quality. Personally I would rate Jancis, Jukesy, Oz, Tim, Anthony and Jamie highly for up to date 'on the pulse' wine writing. Some of the others I am less sure about!