Opening December 18 on Disney’s Boardwalk, Trattoria al Forno promises diners an authentic taste of Italy – from the top of boot-shaped peninsula to the bottom, with classic Italian cuisine — handcrafted mozzarella, fresh pasta and pizzas baked in new wood-burning ovens.
Wine with food is a way of life in Italy, and Trattoria al Forno’s wine list “takes guests on a historic journey through the Italian wine regions,” says Jason Cha-Kim beverage manager for Disney Parks & Resorts.
“It’s unusual to have a 100-percent Italian wine list,” says Jason, who curated a list of about 70 wines from Italy’s 20 wine regions. The first page of the wine list is a map of Italy with the most famous regions highlighted, such as Tuscany and Veneto, then a few of the regions have bullet points about some of the most important wines and their flavor profiles.
“From Tuscany, we describe Chiantis and Super Tuscans,” says Jason. “From Piedmont, Barolo and Moscato d’Asti . . . and we offer wines from regions that some guests may not be familiar with, so we add a description for every single wine, along with the region and grape varietal.”
Trattoria al Forno will offer more than 30 wines by the glass, starting at $8, and also “quartinos,” which are quarter-liter carafes (about a glass and a half). “This is a great way for guests to try several different wines,” says Jason. “They’re big enough to share, so you can try wines from obscure wine regions.” Wine flights also are available.
“The wine list is like a geography lesson,” he explains, “and the list includes bin numbers for easy ordering.”
Training the staff has been a fun journey, says Vinnie Tai, area manager for Disney’s Boardwalk food & beverage team. “We’ve been training for three months so that our servers are part of the immersive dining experience of dining at Trattoria al Forno.”
“It’s been a steep learning curve for the staff,” says Jason. “Servers had a week of intensive training with master sommeliers and leading wine educators from Italy – before opening the staff all will have an overview of Italy wine production and a tasting of all the wines on the list.”
Servers and sommeliers will be trained to suggest an Italian wine that matches a commonly known grape varietal from California and around the world – for instance, Italy’s Pinot Nero is the equivalent of a Pinot Noir, and Primitivo from Italy’s Puglia region is similar to a Zinfandel.
“It’s like a trip to Italy, and you don’t need a plane ticket or passport,” says Vinnie. “Our guests will get a true taste of Italy’s finest.” For reservations, 407-WDW-DINE.