The SOMM Journal

May 2014

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52 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2014 { soul of the sommelier } "THE WINE WORLD IS FILLED WITH MANY RULES, ALL OF WHICH ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN" André Mack tells me this through the fuzzy phone connection: he's in Brooklyn, I'm in Salinas. It's late. I catch him the night before he leaves to speak at Duke University about entre- preneurship. I ask him what he has prepared, and he says, "I just tell my story. It's all I know." This rings true, in the time I have known Mack, he tells it exactly as it is. It's honesty, not mod- esty. Mack is aware of his ego and its desires. Throughout his life he has tempered his gran- diose dreams and harnessed that drive to fulfill his ambitions; it's a balance that has allowed his more artistic endeavors to evolve. André Hueston Mack may become the James Brown of the wine trade; the man is constantly on tour, and is an endless well of creativity. He runs a design firm, Get Fraîche Cru, and a winery and T-shirt company, Mouton Noir. Mouton Noir, the winery, produces 17,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay and Rosé annually. Mouton Noir, the T-shirt company, celebrates the simple, evocative, irreverent large graphics of the punk rock, hip- hop, skate culture of early '90s in America. It's kitschy, but not dumbed down. Mack looks at the world through a different lens clearly inspired by the punkish parody of commercialism rampant in his youth: "You would see some riff on the 7-Up logo on some skater's board, he had put his name on it. Back then you took brands and made them your own. In the '90s it was all parody, all the time— Weird Al, all that shit." Later Mouton Noir T-shirts showcased this style when he reworked the Burger King logo to celebrate Barolo (the king of wines) or reworked the Oscar Mayer logo to celebrate the great Burgundian winemaker, Henri Jayer. Tonight we talk about what makes a success- THE VERSATILE—AND OPIONATED—SOMM/ ARTIST/WINEMAKER IN CONVERSATION by Ted Glennon / photos by Doug Young "The James Brown of the wine trade": André Hueston Mack photographed at Do or Dine in Brooklyn. André Hueston André Hueston Mack Somm Journal June/July.indd 52 5/9/14 12:09 PM

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