Bust out the bottles and brushes, because the new craze for wine lovers involves canvas. Whether you produce a frame-worthy masterpiece or a tacky, traced Van Gogh reproduction that grabs a giggle, what could be more entertaining than a wine and painting party? Both independent wine bars and franchised art studios are cashing in on the trend, so there are plenty of places to paint and sip wherever you live (just watch where you rinse those brushes). Here’s where to unleash your inner Bob Ross.
Painting with a Twist
“I feel that people need a digital detox,” says the co-founder, Cathy Deano, of the paint-and-sip trend. “At a Painting with a Twist class, phones are placed on the table. You have a paint brush in one hand and a wine glass in the other.”
Deano and co-founder Renee Maloney started the business in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina with a focus on fun (rather than fine) art. The company has grown to more than 350 locations across 39 states, and donates a portion of painting proceeds to a number of national and local charities, such as the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer and the Autism Alliance. BYOB is available where permitted by law and most studios even provide glassware and corkscrews to guests. Classes start at $35.
With events in 1,700 cities worldwide, Paint Nite partners with bars to host art classes. “Social Painting Instructors,” comprised of local artists, guide attendees through reproducing a dedicated work of art on a 16-inch by 20-inch canvas. Classes cost $45–75, which includes all art supplies. Attendees can also order wine and food during the class for an additional price.
With 27 locations from Virginia to Maine and still growing, Muse Paintbar combines painting instruction with wine and food in studio environments designed to mimic art gallery spaces.
“It’s not your average date night,” says Sara Rosenfield, marketing and public relations director of Muse Paintbar. “To some, it’s a bit nostalgic. Painting brings people back to their childhood.”
While crafting their masterpieces, guests can choose from some 20 wine and beer selections in most locations, along with finger foods like feta and spinach triangles, or flatbreads from in-studio kitchens. Prices vary depending on location and session type, but range from $29–45 per painter.
What started as a single studio in Houston has expanded to 147 independent art and wine locations. Of these, 95 have bars, and many offer drink specials. The average cost of wine is $7 per glass, or $24 per bottle. Locations without a dedicated bar are almost all BYOB friendly, and Pinot’s Palette supplies everything, including napkins, ice buckets and art supplies. Some locations, like the studio in Encino, California, teach wine bottle painting, too. Cost is $35–45 per painter.
Co-founded by Erika Noriega, who has a Ph.D. in Psychology with a background in art therapy, Painted Cellars’ events give customers the opportunity to carve out a little extra “me” time in their days. Based in California wine country (specifically Sonoma, Lodi, Ukiah and Chico, among others), admission includes a complimentary glass of local wine and often gratis bar snacks. Partner venues include Crush in Ukiah, California, which boasts 100 wine selections. Wine Time, in Chico, California, offers shareable, seasonally driven small plates, a selection of organically or sustainably farmed wine selections, as well as two-and six-ounce pours. Cost is $40 per painter. Check the calendar for wine inclusions.