XO-LP // Laura Palmer


Love Letters to a New Year.

A Very Punny Wine Flight: XO-LP "teaches" a Wine Class

The best ideas come together while drinking wine with friends, right?

If this is true (which it most certainly is) then this was yet another genius plan I've pitched to my personal sommelier, Abbe Davidson. Not only is Abbe affectionately known as "the wine lady" here in Des Moines, she's also one of the most fun, quick witted and brilliant gals I'm lucky enough to call friend. The conversation that lead to us "co-teaching" a wine class for Des Moines' premiere event, Winefest, went something like this:

"Wouldn't it be hilarious if we wrote about wine where I translated all the fancy somm stuff you say?"
"We should, like, teach a class together for Winefest. Don't they do those tastings?"

[Wine sloshes as Laura gestures grandly with her hands.]
"Sure, great idea."
[Abbe tells Laura to "finish it" so that she can refill glasses with a new, fresh Australian wine.]

So it wasn't a garage full of tech nonsense that became Apple or a plan on the back of a napkin that ends up in the Smithsonian, but it was a seed that was planted-- and the class that followed was the first (and potentially last) of it's kind for Winefest. 

Together, Abbe and I built the following book. In total it was 18 pages of wine wisdom that included tasting notes, a Sommelier Dictionary that identified terms used in the class that might need more explanation and all kinds of commentary from me, the non-expert in wine. 

After the intro came the tasting notes, painstakingly written over wine and cheese with Abbe talking vino to me while I asked too many questions.

7 wines, 7 pages of notes describing the wine's special characteristics, the flavors that make it up and a few bits about the region it came from. Each page allowed room for the class attendee to make their own notes about the wines. 

Peppered into the class were "Somm Bombs:" a bit of sommelier specific knowledge that makes you sounds smart at parties. Additionally there was a page dedicated to the two most complicated concepts in wine (according to me, not Abbe the expert):

Chardonnay and Tannins.

There's a lot of words Abbe used in our initial talks that needed somm explaining (see what I did there?!) 

Below you'll find the Somm Dictionary that includes some useful and Bieber terms. Learning is fun. And learning while drinking delicious Australian wines? Now that's the most fun. I personally fell deeper in love with Jansz and their perfect bubbles, and hello Nautilus Pinot Noir-- you are a babe. 

We had 40 very happy students at the end of the night- full of Centro pizza and tasty wines, and knowledge. And it's true what my bio says, I haven't had any Yellow Tail in over six years. There's so much more to Aussie wine than that animal covered bottle. 

[Special thank you to Natasha Sayles for indulging my crazy wine class idea, to Abbe for being brilliant, to the sweet Chris Maharry for the photos and all my friends who showed up to imbibe with me!]