The Wine & Paint Fad. . .Don't knock it till you've tried it!

The Wine & Paint Fad. . .Don't knock it till you've tried it!

Paint & wine 2 My son walks into my office the day after my birthday.  "Keep this Tuesday evening free, Ma."

He's in town for a few days to celebrate Mother's day and my birthday before he heads back to Ann Arbor for a college internship.

His voice is enigmatic, dripping with mystery.  I clap my hands in glee.

I love surprises.

But then, fear rears its ugly head.  What if it's paintball . . .or, or—and here, I clutch my suddenly racing heart in fear—Ziplining?

When he drives me to the (secret) activity location, I find myself face-to-face with Paint, Sip and Mingle in San Mateo.  Turns out, he wants me to find my inner Monet at paint and sip class. . .Aaaaah!

I've anchored a segment on  paint bars before (see below) so  I know what it entails.  But, this is my first time actually trying my hand at it.

Oh, goody!  I love to try new things.

Its a hot new phenomenon—something different to do when friends get together rather than grabbing a meal or drinks, or maybe, catching a movie.

Most studios have separate rooms for private parties and host a slew of bachelorette parties.  Studios charge from $35-$65 for classes that can last two to three hours and include all the necessary supplies.  Some let you bring your own alcohol.  Others charge you a fee for a glass of wine or beer.

The question being asked is: Is it just a fad or is it here to stay?

Paint bar fans concur that there is something satisfying about creating art and even though it may not be fine, at least there's wine!

"Wine and painting are an integral part of human nature and existence, so it is just natural that paint and sip has been so well received and it is a growing industry," says Craig Ceccanti, CEO of Pinot's Palette, which started in Texas. (ref:

My son and I settle into our stools while several ladies, some solo, many with girlfriends, do the same.  The class is subdued at first, students quietly focused on mimicking the art teacher's brush strokes as we carefully form starry skies and crests on waves.  But as the drinks flow and the night wears on, things get more playful.

"I love this song!" shouts one.  "Can I get up and dance?"

The answer is yes.

As students take breaks to let their paint dry between layers, they catch up with friends, vent about work, take selflies and post on social media.  I lament smearing a dab of white paint where there should have blue ocean.

"It's O.K.  I spilled beer on mine," my son consoles me.  "It gives it character."

In the end, my painting looks like Stevie Wonder drew the sketch, and Michael J. Fox applied the paint, but I still had fun!

Anything else you want to wine about?

Paint & wine



When In Doubt, Vacation. . . The Amsterdam Anthology

When In Doubt, Vacation. . . The Amsterdam Anthology