Vintage Flows: Wine-Slingers of the New West

“So lets just stay in the moment
Smoke some weed, drink some wine
Reminisce, talk some shit, forever young is in your mind
Leave a mark that can’t erase, neither space nor time
So when the director yells cut we’ll be fine”
Jay-Z, Forever young

In the 12 years I’ve been in the restaurant & wine industry, I have watched wine as we know it start to change its shape. What once was a very square image is beginning to smooth out. Wine is taking on a new identity, and it’s in thanks to young, passionate winemakers that are willing to take chances and “toe the line” of tradition. We all remember the TV show, “Family Matters.” And i know we all remember when Steve invented the transformation chamber that turned him into the cooler, more stylish and suave Stefan Urquelle alter ego. I’m not saying wines transformation is that drastic, but give with some time it and it definitely will be. There are a few winemakers that paint a picture of how I truly see the future of wine developing. How it will be more marketable, more popular and appealing to completely different crowds. They give a reason to be excited about the future of wine being passed on to the next generation, and I am 100% here for it.

The first winemaker I want to mention is Andre Hueston Mack. Andre chose to leave a promising and lucrative career in finance to pursue his passion for wine. As he worked as a Sommelier for some very prestigious restaurants and chefs, he continued to study wine diligently. His efforts paid of and he became a highly decorated, award winning Sommelier who is highly touted throughout the industry. He has been featured in many publications, and is sought out for wine education and menu consultation across the world. As he made a name for himself, he decided to take a leap and try his hand at winemaking. He set up shop in Williamette Valley, Oregon. A region being occupied by new, innovative winemakers, and wines that are recognized on a global scale. His vineyard is called Maison Noir Wines where he produces not only great wines, but has also taken a fun approach to his wine’s names and labels. Names such as Love Drunk, Bottoms up, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and my personal favorite O.P.P. (Other People’s Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir). An homage to the legendary Jersey hip hop group, “Naughty by Nature”. Andre is a true force pushing forward wine culture with branding that is fun, innovative, and compelling while also creating a taste that’ll keep anyone that drinks it coming back for more. His wines offer more value than what’s in the glass as well. They make you ask questions that inspire conversation, debate, and emotion. I believe his name will be graffiti’d in the walls of wine history as someone who through his wine, spoke to a group of people that had been left out of the wine conversation for far too long. Cheers to you Andre Hueston Mack and I personally thank and salute you for your work.

The next culture shifting Wine-Slingers I would like to recognize are the Beckett brothers out of Paso Robles, California. Josh and Jake grew up in a wine family which meant a lot of their upbringing led to the skills needed to eventually build a successful winery themselves. In 2004, Josh and Jake started Chronic Collars. A psychedelic, peace & love vibe to wine that had yet to be embraced by the wine community. They brought a very laid back, groovy style to wine that I’m sure rubbed many people the wrong way initially. With their very bright and colorful, ‘Nightmare Before Christmas” style labels and promiscuous names like Love Machine, Dead Nuts and Kindly Swallows, they push the envelope in a very buttoned up, and at times stiff culture. They come off as guys that don’t take themselves to seriously, yet are extremely passionate about the next generation of wine drinkers feeling welcome and comfortable in being themselves while enjoying very good wine. This is one of the things I like about them most. Wine has not always been welcoming and with Jake and Josh looking to do that with everything they do, it’s truly impressive. I definitely plan to keep a close eye on the moves and avenues the journey on in the future, and you should too!

To these Mavericks of Merlot, Captains of Cab, Czars of Chardonnay, rock on with your bad selves. Continue to bridge the gap with your great wines and fun approach. Thank you for your contributions to the culture. Know a glass is being raised in your honor, Salúd!

Written By
More from John Michael

Vintage Flows: “Drink Outside the Box”

“Rosé in my Fruit Loops, hard time, I done did that...” -Tru...
Read More

36 Comments

  • I just like the helpful info you supply to your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at again right here frequently. I’m relatively sure I’ll be informed many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  • Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; many of us have created some nice practices and we are looking to swap methods with other folks, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

  • Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • I am only commenting to make you know what a nice encounter my wife’s child developed browsing the blog. She came to understand a lot of pieces, which included how it is like to possess an amazing helping spirit to get other individuals smoothly thoroughly grasp various advanced matters. You really surpassed people’s expected results. I appreciate you for providing these interesting, safe, informative and also unique guidance on that topic to Mary.

  • Howdy would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  • My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a good portion of people will miss your fantastic writing due to this problem.

  • I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  • Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  • Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  • magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  • Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • Thank you for all of your efforts on this website. Ellie takes pleasure in doing internet research and it’s really simple to grasp why. My partner and i learn all about the lively medium you offer efficient strategies on your web blog and therefore strongly encourage contribution from other people about this situation while my girl is actually understanding a lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. Your conducting a wonderful job.

  • Great – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

  • Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.