Raised in a classic Southern Italian family environment, Marcello Palazzi’s journey as a Sommelier began in Naples. He moved to the Marche region of Italy soon after to pursue Law School studies, where he also found work at several wineries. During this time, he was introduced to an American exchange student which sparked a romance, inspiring him to make the decision to relocate to Florida for love. Although his law school dreams were never realized, he eventually found great success professionally when certiﬁcation from the Court of Master Sommeliers allowed him to take on a position as Portfolio Manager for Winebow Imports – a premium European importer. It was here that Marcello rose through their ranks over 10 years before taking on his current prestigious position as lead sommelier.
Marcello has made his mark on 5th Avenue South as the Beverage Manager for Campagna Hospitality Group. His expertise and passion for bringing unique and exceptional wine experiences to guests have been instrumental in driving the success of Naples Winter Wine Festival, where generous locals have now pledged an impressive $269 million through 2023 to beneﬁt children in the community. This year marks a landmark achievement with nearly $26 million raised, which will make a real difference. Marcello takes that same love for wine and works closely with Executive Chef and owner Vincenco Betulia to craft menus that speak of their shared love for Italy, offering diners remarkable tastes from Europe’s many regions right here in Florida. Together, they create truly transcendent culinary experiences for guests. Vincenzo, the creative genius for every bite, goes to great lengths to make sure your meal is balanced.
Growing up in a Sicilian household, Vincenzo was familiar with the time and effort that went into beautiful home-cooked meals. “We would can, harvest, and make just about anything we could get our hands on from scratch, so needless to say restaurant trips were few and far between.” Throughout his career, Vincenzo was pushed to risen to the very top of the culinary industry, cooking alongside some of the greatest chefs in the world. To this day he is inspired by the ﬂavors he creates and how they can be enhanced when paired with the perfect wine.
Wine pairing can revolutionize a meal and transform a mundane dinner into an extraordinary culinary experience. Knowing which wines go well with certain dishes can be daunting but with some research and practice you can become an expert in no time. A good rule of thumb is to pair light, acidic foods – such as salmon or shrimp – with lighter wines while full-bodied, intense meats – such as steak or pork – should be matched with heavier reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Keep in mind that matching the ﬂavors of the wine and the food each bring to the table is key for building harmony, so tasting both together will help you decide what works best. With a bit of know-how, any meal can be accompanied by the perfect glass of vino, making it a truly unforgettable event.
All in all, the Campagna Hospitality groups private label of wine has been an amazing boon to their ability to deliver a high-caliber experience. The restaurant not only is able to ensure ultimate quality and freshness with its specially crafted wines, but they can also create a menu that perfectly pairs their wines with beloved dishes. By taking control of the production process from start to ﬁnish – from harvesting grapes straight from the vineyard, to ﬂavor assessments along the fermentation stage of production – they are ensuring a truly sterling product that elevates its customers’ dining experience. The restaurant’s private label of wine provides not just dinner guests, but all discerning vinophiles with a benchmark for what a genuinely excellent vintage really means.