A few years ago, a study out of Austria proved what many artists have long suspected: Wine can, in fact, get those creative juices flowing!
Researchers led by Dr. Mathias Benedek found that a small amount of wine may help with creativity-driven tasks and thought processes. “It might work well for someone who is sitting down to do writing or brainstorming ideas in a boardroom,” Benedek wrote of his conclusions in the journal Consciousness & Cognition.
It’s no wonder, then, that Harry & David came out with its Red Wine & Paint-By-Number Kit, which has become such a popular product, for artists and the artist adjacent alike!
The kits include two numbered canvases with a nature scene to paint, two trays of corresponding acrylic paints, multiple brushes, and a bottle of full-bodied Ross Lane red blend.
“This gift is a great example of a different — and creative — wine tasting experience,” says Harry & David wine coordinator Madison Long, who came up with the set. “Initially, I was trying to think of ideas and concepts that were different from what we currently had in our assortment or in the marketplace. A lot of wine gifts are built around food and wine, but there are so many different ways to experience wine that don’t require a set food pairing to enjoy.”
While paint and sip classes have become immensely popular over the past few years, the COVID-19 lockdowns put a temporary stop to indoor gatherings — so Long and the rest of the marketing team had to get creative when coming up with new gift ideas.
“I was thinking of a way to bring people together,” she says. “At the time of initial concept, interacting with our friends and loved ones was hard to do. This gift is a great way to bring people together, whether in person or through video chats.”
Even though many restrictions on indoor events have since been lifted, doing the kit virtually is still a great way to connect with out-of-town loved ones. “This was a big piece of our discussion when the gift concept was presented — creating a virtual paint and sip party with your friends and family when you are not able to be in person,” says Ellen Sorenson, merchandising manager, wine at Harry & David. Plus, painting and sipping in the comfort of your own home means you never have to worry about having sipped too much to drive home safely.
Sorenson also adds that the paint-by-number format takes off any pressure for those just looking to relax. While anyone should feel free to put their own spin on the work, it’s mostly just a fun and easy way to create a memorable piece. “You do not need to be an artist to create a piece of art,” Sorenson says. “This gift is great for just about everyone…of legal drinking age, of course!”