~ Drinking vessels, Wu-Tang, Wes Anderson, and much more with André. ~
When I reached out to André Hueston Mack I wasn't sure if I'd have to bug him a few times to get back to me. He's a very busy wine entrepreneur, and they just had their 3rd child. We met briefly in late 2015 when he was last in Kansas City, but didn't have much of a chance to connect. André replied to my email right away, and I was proud to have him included in our next Q&A series.
We emailed back and forth a few times, and my travels have been picking up again making me get behind on my inbox. I saw André's responses come back while I was in Tulsa for work, and was instantly pumped by his answers. I hope you enjoy this Q&A as much as I did.
Legendary East Coast hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan
The LAB: You are launching a new wine, and one artist, or band, has offered up 30 minutes to play for your launch for free. Who is it?
André: It would have to be the Wu-Tang Clan, because The Wu-Tang Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit!
The LAB: How can you not enjoy Wu-Tang?!?
The LAB: You meet an 18 year old that reminds you of yourself at that age, and they want to get into the wine business. What bit of advice do you give them?
André: Stop getting distracted by things that have nothing to do with your goals.
The LAB: Wow, this is good advice. I should follow this more closely, too.
The LAB: If you were able to play a cameo role in a movie from the last 5 years, which would it be?
André: The Grand Budapest Hotel! I'm a huge Wes Anderson fan. I love the way he shoots, and his storytelling is off the charts. Man! What I wouldn't give to be in one of his movies!
The LAB: Wine pairs best with the Super Bowl, World Series, World Cup, or March Madness?
André: All of the above!! But, I really enjoy the international aspect of the World Cup, and the nonstop anticipation of someone scoring.
The LAB: What type of glassware are you ok drinking wine from that old school snobs would frown their nose at?
André: My limited edition Bodega "Commandments" mug glass.
Famous chef and James Beard winner, Patrick Clark
The LAB: It's Black History Month. Which African-American in the food or beverage industry has been the biggest mentor, or inspiration for you?
André: I would have to say that the late great Patrick Clark has been a big inspiration for me.
The LAB: Certainly a legend in the East Coast culinary scene.
The LAB: What childhood experience prepared you the most for the industry, or job you do today?
André: I grew up as a military brat, and we moved almost every two years. I believe that really helped prepare me for being able to get along with everybody, and making friends easily.
The LAB: You can have a new cereal or energy bar named for you, what is it called, and what are its flavor notes?
André: Grand Hustle, consisting of nougat topped with Nutella and honey roasted cashew butter, enrobed in milk chocolate!