July 29, 2009

Michael Cunio–A Wine-Loving Jersey Boy!

July 29th, 2009

Michael Cunio
Actor Michael Cunio, who also is the wine director at New York’s Palma restaurant, tries a glass of wine at Salute Wine Bar, 46 E. Superior.(Photo Credit: Tom Cruze/Sun-Times)

Miriam DiNunzio has a fascinating story about JERSEY BOYS Chicago’s Tommy DeVito–Michael Cunio! In addition to starring in the hit show, the 31-year-old actor also is the wine director at New York’s Palma restaurant.

Here’s a preview to DeNunzio’s interview with Cunio about his second career:

Q. How did you fall in love with wine?

A. A great deal of it is the allure of the lifestyle — it’s something so synonymous with leisure and relaxation. Whether it’s doing a show on Broadway or being in a band (he fronts an alt-rock band called Reckless Place) or filming for 12 hours a day, at the end of the night there’s so much adrenaline in you you don’t know what to do. Wine became my outlet to relax and unwind. I started to just appreciate it beyond just getting a little buzzed; certainly that’s an added bonus, [laughing] and anyone who says that’s not part of the appeal is lying. I started reading books on wine and scouring the Web for information. It dawned on me that I could do this as a career.

Q. So that led to you wanting to pursue a career as a sommelier?

A. Yes. I had gotten to a place with theater where I wasn’t interested in taking another class or going to an audition. I started doing all this self-motivated stuff, and learned and honed my appreciation for wine. I’m also an avid equestrian. [Laughs] I got into acting because I didn’t have the money to pursue an equestrian career.

Visit SunTimes.com for Michael’s full interview.


  1. He acts, dances, sings, rides horses, and is a wine expert. My new role model!!!

    Comment by Caroline — July 29, 2009 @ 11:08 am

  2. tough choice, sommolier or actor. guess he doesn’t have to choose. both great gigs. more on sommolier :

    fun reading, watching on being sommolier

    Comment by eric — July 30, 2009 @ 7:32 pm

  3. Just saw Michael and the guys at Elgin CC last night. They and the small band that was with them, were outstanding.

    Comment by Janet — November 13, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  4. Cunio is one big heartbreaker……….at least in my mind…just from watching him performing in Under The Streelamp on PBS TV
    What talent and style. Wish I were 40 yrs younger!! LOL

    Comment by Annie Texas — December 21, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment