August 8th, 2010

The name Sterling is cool and hard; the chill of silver as opposed to the warmth of gold. The Sterling winery is pristine, white and ultra modern. Not a whisper of decorative excess to be seen. It looks like the secret fortress of an operation bent on world domination, the kind you might see in a James Bond movie. Like whoever built it had access to the most money and the best minds, but maybe you shouldn’t expect them to be helping any little old ladies get across the street.

But modern architecture can be like that, right? So, I tried to get in a little further. I clicked on a button called “heritage” on their website. Over and over and over I clicked on this button. And what came up every time? A big, open, white box. Not a blank page, but an empty white box.

But that could just be a temporary glitch, of course. Sure I tried several times over the course of an hour and got the same thing every time, but the internet is still an unstable place. In the meantime, I clicked on a button called “philosophy.” If anything can show me the humanity I’m looking for, surely it’s got to be the philosophy page, I thought. What I got instead was a very technical description of the making of not just white versus red wine, but chardonnay versus sauvignon blanc. I learned, for example, about the malolactic fermentation that select portions of a chardonnay will undergo, where a sauvignon blanc will not. Philosophy, huh?

Is the Sterling wine a cover for a nefarious plot to destroy the world? I’m not sure. But, as I said, they seem to have access to the best minds and their wine reflects it. Personally, I love it all. I love the wine. I want to wear a very straight, tight suit, comb my hair very precisely and speak with a Russian accent (because it’s always the Russians in those movies) while I drink it. And, someday, I want to go visit the Sterling winery and see if I can find that big red button. You know, the one that sits in the cavernous, subterranean, grey room, ready to destroy the world at any moment.

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