Finally, the East Bay is home to one of the most creative business concepts that puts the double o in good time. Since my first introduction in Texas to the idea of enjoying a glass of vino while tapping into my inner Picasso, I have searched high and low for a similar experience here in the Bay Area and came up empty-handed. Advertised pop-up events appeared attractive but if you miss one, who knows if another one was around the corner. But as of this month, all of this has changed.
On August 15, Sean Gabriel and his wife Peri officially opened Pinot’s Palette in Alameda conveniently located in the South Shore Center between Starbucks and the Italian restaurant Trabocco. The Gabriels wanted to do something else other than the normal 9-5 hustle and bustle and after months of preparation, I think everyone will be very happy to see what they have to introduce to the community. The paint and sip studio is the first brick and mortar location in the East Bay and very much overdue. A friend and I headed over for a special media preview and left even more excited than when we arrived, vowing to be back.
If you are new to the paint and sip concept, let me give you a quick overview. First, get ready to leave the troubles of the day or week behind, make new friends and most importantly have fun. And don’t worry, laughing is allowed. As a matter of fact it is highly encouraged. Prior art experience is not required as classes are taught by an professional artist who will make each step seem like you are simply writing your name. Prior to arriving, you can go online to look at the class calendar which shows the painting for each class in advance. For our media night, we painted Wild Wine Night which is coming up again on Thursday, September 3. After you decide on which class to attend, purchase your ticket online and arrive at the studio, grab an apron and proceed to select a glass of wine to get in the creative mood. Throughout the month, the studio features wines from partner wineries such as R & B Cellars, Rock Wall, Jeff Cohn and Rosenblum Cellars. Wine partners will change periodically. Beer from Bison Organic Beer is also available along with soft drinks and water. While wine helps to create the true paint and sip experience, it is not required which makes Pinot’s Palette a friendly place for those who do not drink alcoholic beverages but still want to get creative and have fun.
Now that you are here, what can you expect? A really good time! It was a full house during our preview class which meant a lot of creativity was present. It amazes me that although everyone is given the exact same directions at the exact same time, our paintings were so, so different. But that is what works here. You can become your own artist, creating your own interpretation of one portrait. Even when you look at my friend’s painting (the one on the left pictured here), it looks like she drew a magnum and I just did a regular wine bottle. Just kidding.
With a glass in the left hand and paint brush in the right, we swooshed, drew up, down and around all evening long as our instructor Ashley walked us through each color one by one. In between a painting session, the music played giving more life to the party that was already in full swing before we started painting. A dessert break came when representatives from Gelatipop stopped by. Their location in the same shopping center just opened this month as well and from the taste of the pops, business will be good.
With a few more instructions and time to add any finishing touches, we were ready to share our paintings with each other and the world. As a wine lover, I could not have thought of another way to spend a Friday evening.
Now that the studio is open, let’s raise a glass to that. Pinot’s Palette is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 7 – 10 pm and classes on Saturdays and Sundays are from 2- 4 pm and 7:30 – 10:30 pm. The studio is perfect for a night out with the girls, birthday celebrations, private parties, company team building events or any special occasion. Date night happens once a month with a special painting that allows you to paint one side and your significant other to do the opposite side. The next Date Night class is scheduled for Saturday, September 19 from 7 – 10 pm.
With the holiday season just around the corner, Pinot’s Palette’s schedule is sure to fill up for private parties so be sure to stop by, check it out and book your class or event soon. The studio is located at 2210 D South Shore Center in Alameda and the phone number is 510-263-8770. To look at classes and register, visit www.pinotspalette.com/alameda. Be sure to come back to this post and share your experience below.