Michael A. Venezia is a 30 year veteran of the beverage alcohol industry, predominantly specializing in the fine wine segment. He is nationally known as an educator focusing his expertise to industry professionals, interested consumers, and media outlets featuring editorial comments in the culinary field.
Called upon frequently to host wine dinners in Atlanta’s finest restaurants, private clubs, resorts and other venues specializing in food and wine related activities. Venezia has cultivated a following of wine enthusiasts who regard him as an expert on wine, as well as food. His career path has taken him from early experiences in food and wine originating in his family’s restaurant business in Brooklyn, New York in the 1960s to appearing as a featured wine expert on CNN. Venezia has made a career out of his passion for wine and food.
As Corporate Director of Education for United Distributors, Inc., one of America’s largest distributors of beverage alcohol products, Venezia trains the sales and marketing staff,
presents seminars to restaurant service personnel, and conducts tasting tutorials to professional and consumer groups. His success in these endeavors has broadened his reach into the corporate arena. Many companies look to him for guidance in selecting wines for important dinners, he trains executives and sales associates who entertain clients on proper wine selection strategies in restaurants, and provides ongoing wine education for company executives and clients. In addition, he evaluates wine products which are under consideration by United Distributors, Inc., for portfolio expansion and market introduction.
Venezia is active in several food and wine organizations. He has served as the director of public relations for L’Ordre de Canardiers and is a member of L’Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs de la Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs. A former co-chair of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) Atlanta Chapter, he has also served on the AIWF Advisory Board. He is a member of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE).
Venezia earned an undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in Corporate Communications from Fairfield University in Connecticut. He began his career teaching journalism and creative writing in the Branford, Connecticut public schools. In 1980 he worked at Chateau Monbousquet, Grand Cru in St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France. Upon returning to New York, he accepted a position with Kobrand Corporation, the national marketing agency for such prestigious brands as Maison Louis Jadot and Taittinger Champagne. During this time, he was promoted and transferred to Atlanta, where he later joined United Distributors, Inc., in 1988. Venezia has completed course work at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and is a Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits awarded by The National Society of Wine Educators.
When not educating consumers, traveling to vineyards and winery destinations, he enjoys fine cuisine, reading and listening to music.
©2013 - 2017 Savannah Food & Wine Festival
November 6-12, 2017
The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is presented by the Tourism Leadership Council, a 501-(c) 6 organization, with proceeds benefiting the TLC Scholarship Fund, with educational opportunities for hospitality program students in colleges and universities in the Coastal Empire and many local charitable organizations.