- “Mr. Mack was named best young sommelier by the Chaine des Rotisseurs in 2003, and he was the first African-American ever to win the title—but that wasn’t enough. Nor was the fact that he did so while living in Houston. He wanted more. And that, of course, meant working in New York. In 2004, he became the head sommelier of Per Se—a much coveted position, or as Mr. Mack said, ‘It was a job that some sommeliers would grab and never let go.’ But he did, at the end of 2006. ‘There was a feeling that I’d hit a glass ceiling,’ he said. ‘And if I wanted to walk on water I’d better get off the boat.’ A lot of [his] success was owed to winemaking friends who helping him along the way when it came to sourcing fruit, noted Mr. Mack, who doesn’t own a winery or vineyards. Instead, he acts as a negociant who purchases grapes and works with a custom winemaking facility in Oregon. Although he has produced wines from California and Washington State, all Mouton Noir wines are currently made in Oregon. They include reasonably priced wines (around $20 a bottle) like the 2011 Knock on Wood Chardonnay, a straightforward, citrusy white, and the 2010 Other People’s Pinot Noir, a light-bodied, attractive red with the abbreviation OPP in big, bold, black letters on the label. Graphic art is another component of Mr. Mack’s business. He’s a self-taught graphic artist who learned to make his own labels when he couldn’t afford to hire a label designer. Today, he creates T-shirts and slogans and labels for other winemakers and wineries, too.” (The Wall Street Journal)
Maison Noir is a two-fold lifestyle project producing both a T-Shirt line and Oregon wines. Founded by sommelier André Hueston Mack in 2007, both ends of Maison Noir incorporate a trademark attitude and personal perspective on wine subculture. The wines are unique and distinctive garage wines, initially created for some of the New York's best restaurants for whom Mack was a sommelier and now available nationwide. Maison Noir apparel is inspired by WINE LIFESTYLE/STREET CULTURE of the punk and hip-hop scenes while reminiscent of independent skateboard company apparel of the 1990s. And for a little local flava, Andre graduated from Oklahoma City University—so we’re happy to bring the Black Sheep back home!
|André Hueston Mack
|André Hueston Mack