We had an interesting lunch conversation today with friends about the fear of taking a risk in today's generation. However, while gambling can certainly lead to disappointment, the greatest rewards are usually given to those who take a chance. So many people want certainty these days - they need to know that whatever they're investing in is going to work out as planned. They want clear instructions about what is needed from them and what exactly is necessary to achieve happiness and success. It's the fear of the unknown that prevents people from branching out sometimes - "why take a chance on that bottle of French chardonnay when we already know that we like the California one?"
I could go on forever about this, but the subject is worth thinking about. Part of the reason why I feel wine ratings carry so much weight stems from the fact that people are afraid of drinking a bad bottle. Worse than that - drinking a bad bottle of wine and thinking it's good! We need certainty even if certainty is a matter of opinion. Life is one giant uncertainty which is why we constantly look for something to latch on to.
Look at it this way: you'll never know if little Suzie will go to the prom with you unless you ask. The boy who never asks for fear of rejection will never know what could have happened. The one who takes the risk may end up having the time of his life (or might end up crying in his room, but so be it).
It's ok to end up with a bad bottle now and again. It's the understanding of the bad ones that makes the good ones so good.