blackblThroughout the world, wine is an everlasting taste that does not go unnoticed by the crowd. Maison Noir Wines is a great example of this. Founded by sommelier André Hueston Mack, he has made it his mission to bring passion, flavor, and taste to his collection of wine. His story of how he became the founder is one to sit back with a glass of his “Love Drunk ‘Rose’ 2016” and peacefully listen to.
Maison Noir is a two-folded lifestyle project that produces, not only Oregon made wines, but a T-Shirt line as well. Mack founded this beautiful company back in 2007. Both the T-Shirt Line and the Oregon Wine incorporate a trademark attitude and personal perspective on wine subculture. His wines are considered unique and distinctive garage wines; seeing as how they are made out of a garage based in McMinnville, Oregon. These wines were initially created for some of the New York’s best restaurants for which Mack was a sommelier. Now, Maison Noir is available nationwide!
Let us not forget about the apparel side to this company. It is surely one to include in conversation over a glass of Maison Noir’s “Knock on Wood ‘Chardonnay’ 2014.” The WINE LIFESTYLE/STREET CULTURE of the punk and hip-hop scenes inspires the apparel line. Simultaneously it is reminiscent of independent skateboard company apparel of the 1990s. Mr. Mack, who is a self-taught graphic artist, creates T-shirts, slogans, and labels for his company and other winemakers and wineries. So, the art on the bottle of “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades ‘NV,’” is crafted and created by Mr. Mack himself.
Who is this famous wine maker and how did he become so well know and crafty? André Hueston Mack was named Best Young Sommelier in America by the well-known Chaine des Rotisseurs in 2003. He was the first African-American ever to win the title working in New York. Before all of this, he was having a successful career with Citicorp Investment Services, when he decided to leave his “desk job.” Working in San Antonio, he discovered the joys of introducing guests to the little known vineyards that first attracted him to this business and “the instant gratification of a guest’s reaction” that followed. After being named Best Young Sommelier, Mack received the opportunity to work as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned “The French Laundry” in Yountville, California. He then proceeded to accept the position of Head Sommelier at Keller’s equally famed “Per Se” in New York City. Mack, who does not own a winery or vineyards, acts as a negotiator who purchases grapes and then works with a custom winemaking facility in Oregon.
Mack has been featured in major publications like Wine & Spirits Magazine, Ebony and The New York Times. For André Hueston Mack, winemaking has always been a dream of his, and it became his reality when he opened up shop under the moniker of Maison Noir Wines. “We make food friendly wines that are not only honest and transparent but truly speak of the place they come from,” remarked Mack during a Winery profile series. Sharing his fondness of wine with others brings the story home for this beautiful and talented winemaker.