Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

African-American Owned Wine Labels: André Mack’s Mouton Noir Wines

Written by Janelle Carter of The Cork Chronicles

Andre Mack 1

André Hueston Mack, winemaker and owner of Mouton Noir Wines, thinks of himself as something of a black sheep within the wine industry, hence the name “Mouton Noir” which is French for “black sheep.”  But, I think of him as something closer to genius.  Just six months into his career as a sommelier, he won the prized distinction: Best Young Sommelier in America in 2003.  With such a quick ascension among the ranks of sommeliers, you might be surprised to learn that André is self-taught.  As a waiter in a Texas steakhouse, he realized that wine must be significant if the most expensive meal on the menu was $50, but the most expensive wine was $5000.  His work ethic motivated him to study wine for hours after work, reading every wine book and tasting every type of wine he could get his hands on.  For he knows that you aren’t necessarily born with a gifted palate, you get better with practice.   He then mastered the role of wine director at Thomas Keller’s distinguished three Michelin starred restaurants—French Laundry and Per Se—before becoming a winemaker and creating his own label, Mouton Noir.

Andre Mack 2

André is exceptional, not only for his ability to quickly master the world of wine and create his own thriving wine label where he is the winemaker and sole owner, but also for his ability to think differently to connect with wine consumers in innovative ways.  Indeed, that is where his passion in wine lies.  He is most gratified by the excitement in someone’s facial expression when they take the first sip of a wine he presented.  This is what made 16 hour work days as a sommelier worth it, and it is what motivates him to create high quality wines that drink well above their price point.

Mouton Noir Wines

Mouton Noir Wines distinguishes itself from other wine producers by its tongue-in-cheek wine labels. The labels’ cultural references highlight the personality of the wine inside the bottle as well as the man who made it. With names like Ante Up, Faux Originale, Love Drunk, and O.P.P., Mouton Noir wines must have huge personalities. A wine with lots of personality that tastes great is one that I’ll drink again and again. You can purchase Mouton Noir wine directly from their website.  It is also sold in a limited number of high end restaurants around the country.

An African American owned wine shop located in Brooklyn, BedVyne Wine, is giving away another bottle of wine and a tote bag to one randomly selected reader who “LIKES” Kwanzaa Culinarians on Facebook and leaves a comment below.

Bed-Vyne.comBedVyne Wine A boutique wine shop in the heart of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. We offer a large selection of carefully curated wines from all over the globe. Our wines are arranged by taste, not by region, so our customers are able to enjoy wines from many regions that will fit their palette. Cheers!

CONTEST DETAILS: Contest starts Wed., Dec. 14, 2011 and ends Wed., Dec. 23 at 10 p.m./PST. Winner announced on Wed., Dec. 28th. Contest open to residents of the continental United States, excluding Alaska,  Hawaii and U.S. foreign territories over age 21. No additional purchase or shipping expenses are necessary. Prize cannot be exchanged. If wine shipping is restricted in your state, you may be ineligible to win. Must provide an email used only to notify the winner and for shipping information.

About Janelle Carter

Janelle is the Founder and Editor of The Cork Chronicles, a wine blog engaging wine novices and connoisseaurs alike with wine reviews and tales of her personal wine tasting experiences. She is a sought after wine writer and educator. Please contact her on Twitter @corkchronicler or via email at

6 comments on “African-American Owned Wine Labels: André Mack’s Mouton Noir Wines

  1. Pingback: The Cork Chronicles » Blog Archive » Celebrating Kwanzaa and African-American Vintners

  2. ichoosethesun
    December 14, 2011

    Love learning about Black-owned wine labels. Looking forward to a #win 🙂


  3. Robbin
    December 14, 2011

    Awesome Andre!


  4. Sherina Davis
    December 14, 2011

    Looking forward to tasting Mouton Noir Wines. #SupportBlackBusinesses


  5. tiffanykapri
    December 14, 2011

    Love the labels! Can’t wait to test out the wine.


    • Sanura Weathers
      January 10, 2012

      Dear Tiffany Kapri,

      Congratulations! You are the winner of Bed-Vyne Wine’s free totebag and a bottle of wine. Please forward your shipping address and full name to sanura @

      Thank you for participating!


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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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