Dogwood: What We’re Drinking

In a business flooded with new wines and innovations every day, it’s difficult to stand out in the restaurant beverage game. Sommelier André Hueston Mack has managed to not only captivate, but hold the industry’s attention. Mack’s pedigree is sure to impress, as it includes a sommelier position with the prestigious Thomas Keller at both Per Se in New York City and The French Laundry in Yountville, California. Despite his award-winning wine lists, winemaking was always a goal for Mack. This dream came to fruition as Mouton Noir Wines. The name Mouton Noir translates to “black sheep” in French, and is a nod to his portrayal as an underdog sommelier. The cheeky name of his winery is exactly how Mack wants to convey his wine to the world. From the marketing techniques to the brilliant bottle names, Mack wants to replace the elitism of wine culture with a little humor, while still showing it respect by making fantastic wines.

One of Mouton Noir’s first wines was O.P.P. (Other People’s Pinot). Despite its hip name, this wine is a classic Oregon Pinot Noir. The characteristics of O.P.P. are quintessential Oregon Pinot beginning with beautiful bright ripe fruit. As the wine opens up, aromas of earth, spice, and floral notes emerge; flavors of herbs, cherry, and ginger wood spices take center stage on the palate.

Not only is O.P.P. a delicious juice, it’s also a food lover’s dream. In an age where small plates dominate, giving us multiple delicacies at once, it’s challenging to find a suitable wine pairing. O.P.P. is the perfect wine to bridge the gap between steak, seafood, etc. Mack originally created the wine specifically for restaurants as a universally food-friendly wine, but demand eventually called for retail sales as well. Mack has created a new cult classic that leaves only one question to be asked: “You down with O.P.P.?”