Born in Middletown, Connecticut, sister-city to Melilli, Sicily, where his father was born, Zimmitti started life as a soccer and tennis fanatic. Upon hearing his first Led Zeppelin record, at age twelve, however, he decided to give up all sports to become a rock & roll drummer. At the time, the two most serious places to pursue music were New York or Los Angeles. So as a teenager and with his original guitar-player as legal guardian (to register for high school), Zimmitti left the cold and long New England winters for sunny California.
The importance of food and wine at the table was engrained in Zimmitti by his Italian-American upbringing. It was not unusual to sample an uncle’s homemade wine or a cousin’s fresh, cold-pressed olive oil. And later, as a drummer touring throughout Europe, the passion for food and wine was reignited. A ten-year stint at local indie label, Triple X Records, handling their international distribution kept the European connections alive. A whole lot of wine research (read “tasting”), marketing, consulting and culinary school followed.
Other than some continuing education courses through the San Antonio Winery, Zimmitti has been self-taught in the wine world. He has been studying, traveling, tasting and collecting wine since 1994. And along with the wine experience, he also completed a culinary program at Epicurean in the spring of 2005.
After years of looking for the right situation, Rosso Wine Shop literally fell into Zimmitti’s lap. The concept had been brewing for a few years but the space was elusive. While apprenticing in the kitchen of local restaurant, Bistro Verdu (in 2005), for their Sunday brunches, the space next door became available. The visions of a wine shop and European-style tasting bar could be finally be realized. Rosso Wine Shop opened it’s doors in September of 2006.