Wine as a Work Enhancer

While sitting on an endless stack of work over the past few months, I’ve slowly discovered ways in which to make myself more productive. Or, if not more productive, then at least making the time tick by as pleasurable as possible.

wine corksOne trick when working into the evening hours that’s been successful, is to work with a glass of red wine within arms reach. I’ve slowly been warming up to wine these days, and have found it to be somewhat of a work enhancer. Beer, on the other hand, seems to be more of a work detractor. Where beer fills me up, makes me sleepy and generally slow (sometimes the intended effect), wine does the opposite — waking me up in a sense. I can’t/don’t do this every night of course, and maybe that’s why I think it works so well, particularly in the design phase of a project.

Warning: drink too much wine, and your designs could end up looking like this.

I don’t mean to endorse the consumption of alcohol to improve workflow, yet I’m sharing this as a tip that’s works for me. I imagine everyone has a different work enhancer — or several to mix up throughout the week. Hopefully it’s a) something legal and b) not bad for your health. The wine could either be considered either bad or good (for lowering cholesterol!).

A scientific explanation for why wine helps, I don’t have. Most wine drinkers know that it has a tendency to make people a bit more chatty than usual. I suppose channeling this chatty energy is what assists the workflow, since there’s no one there to chat with. That, or it just tastes good.

If you’re not into wine, go see the excellent film Sideways. This will help. If you are into wine, what’s your favorite bottle? Mine of the moment: Trinitas Zinfindel (the red stuff, not the white, fake stuff).


  1. stuart says:

    At least your drinking/working mix is cultured, I usually find the drink most condusive to work is a good old cup of tea, one sugar, milky. cant beat it, and you can drink as much as you like!
    Im not sure if tea has the same liberating effect however!

  2. Feaverish says:

    Wine (or beer) can definitely help me focus. I tend to get distracted a lot, but I’ve noticed that after a glass of wine I have no problem just sitting down and working for a few hours. Oh, and I’m a fan of the “Two Buck Chuck”: Charles Shaw Merlot or Shiraz from Trader Joe’s. I’m pretty sure they don’t mention it in Sideways.

  3. Simon Jessey says:

    I find myself suffering from mild headaches when I indulge in red wine, which may have something to do with the tannin. I concur with your results on the effect of beer. I have learned to substitute that for Diet Coke.
    Interestingly, however, I have found another way to dramatically increase my productivity. After careful analysis of results that I compiled over a period of about six months, I found myself to be at least five times more productive when I get paid. I also noticed a distinct drop in productivity when someone asked me to do a “freebie.” Sadly, I was able to compile considerably more data on the latter condition.

  4. Dolce is the best port wine I’ve ever had. Needless to say it is not the work enhancer that red or even white wine may be. However, if you can afford the $70-$80 a half-bottle, it is outstanding.

  5. les says:

    so if I hire you and send along a bottle of wine, do I get a discount?

  6. Chris Clark says:

    Wyndham Estate Bin 999 Merlot — if only because I’m a little homesick and it’s one of the nicer Australian wines I’ve been able to find here in the states. Tres bon.

  7. quis says:

    If you think beer is bad then you should try the English delicacy known as cider. I can attest to the fact that it makes you sluggish and prone to writing junk comments on weblogs.

  8. Mike P. says:

    Chris, their Shiraz is good stuff too… And while we’re on the Aussi Shiraz kick (who me?) Lindemans Bin 50 is a fine bottle…

  9. Colly says:

    I used to work in a fine wine merchants in Nottingham a few years back – learned a hell of a lot about the stuff. I used to have bottles and bottles at home. Samples would get opened for a taste, then corked again. I’d get to take all of those home to offest my meagre wages.
    Here I am now, a third of the way into a very complex CMS site, and approaching midnight, I’d kill for those bottles right now.
    Dan, if you want any recommendations, just let me know…

  10. brian says:

    i’ve often found, more when coding than designing per say, but that if i’m stuck on a particular issue, a couple beers or wine shifts my head just enough to see the right answer. granted i can’t do it all the time, but it has worked on occasion.
    i’m into this syrah i got at target with a yellow label with a bicyclist on the front. around $8, very good.

  11. Mike D. says:

    A little Chateau D’ Percocet is sometimes nice as well. :)

  12. Dustin says:

    I’ve usually found that two 12oz bottles of corona will do the trick for me. Anything after that I start coming up with idea’s for brand new websites…which is definitely not what I need right now.

  13. Oliver says:

    I live in Canada and drinking hasn’t been legal for me since i was born. 19 is the legal age – I got a few years to go.
    But then again, how much alcohol is in wine anyway? 10-20%? Not a whole lot.

  14. Jeff says:

    I seem to be stuck with Coke. Wine is not legal for me, unless I’m out of the country, so I think I’ll stay with over-caffienated (sp?) drinks :D.

  15. Lea de Groot says:

    Hmmm… I’m not sure.
    Perhaps I should test your theory?

  16. Dan Jallits says:

    I agree, wine is a great catalyst for the design aspects. However, those pesky PHP script errors or SQL statement errors call for something more drastic. This is when I call my friend Jack Daniels to come over, and we go out for the night.
    The latter is not necessarily true, but I have found that I tend to be a work-a-holic. Thus, I learned that it was alright to walk away at times and come back to these problems later. No substances needed, mind you.

  17. Matthom says:

    I agree that wine helps productivity and speeds up the thought process. I drink a glass or two every evening as I work on more “pleasurable” projects – design, coding, etc.
    I also find I write with more ease – such as writing thoughts and ideas out – for my blog or elsewhere.
    Chablis is my fave. It’s not too sweet, and not too dry. I find it’s just perfect.

  18. Hell yes. I’ve written entire books fuelled by red wine. Sometimes it’s the only way I can make progress – especially with the writing.
    I find I code perfectly well with a few glasses in me, it’s just that I can’t ever remember writing it the next day. On the upside, it’s a pleasant surprise to find out how much work I did the night before :)

  19. Scott says:

    Great. You’ve just turned scores of struggling designers into alcaholics. Nice work, Dan. ;)

  20. Wine, beer, cider… I find it all comforting and helpful in forcing me to relax and have fun when designing websites (for my personal business, not work).
    If you like cider and live in the northern California area, I highly suggest trying out Two Rivers Cider. Their website is still under development (by guess who?), but the cider has been around for many years and is delicous. It can be found at fine pubs/bars/breweries throughout Sacramento, Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Napa, Placerville area.

  21. Erwin Heiser says:

    Actually, drinking 2 glasses of red wine a day is very healthy as any European will tell you :-).
    My advice: scope out a decent wine shop where they can help you choose a good claret (what’s all this nonsense about 2 buck chuck?) and buy yourself a decent wineglass.
    The web will be all the better for it!

  22. beto says:

    Believe it or not, what works for me on those instances is… scotch. Usually a single, on-the-rocks glass of the single malt kind. The drink of the gods I guess.
    If I’m not on the mood for alcohol, green tea or Yerba Mate usually does the trick as well.
    Not that I do it everyday either, and certainly not in the office, but it helps when I get the chance.

  23. Ben says:

    I completely agree. Red wine for me has been a source of inspiration for several years now. I can say confidently that nearly all of my best work has been labored over while alternating mouse/red wine/mouse/red wine.
    Some of my favorites…
    Dynamite Vineyards Merlot
    Semillion (Spanish red)
    Jekel Merlot
    For a good but inexpensive red…try
    Rosemont Vineyards Shiraz (Australian Shiraz)
    acclamazioni al buon disegno!

  24. Bruno Torres says:

    Yeah, wine is really good to warm up. I haven’t used it as a work enhancer, but I think it shoud be really good.
    By the way, my preferred wine is Valpolicella Bolla, very good italian red wine.

  25. Ryan Romero says:

    i’m completely stuck on a creative block for a new design. i’ve been waiting for an answer…thanks a bunch mr. simplebits. i’m off to the liquor store to catch me a nice bottle of white zinfindel (yes..i like the fake stuff).

  26. Ben Johnson says:

    1) Stone Cellers Beringer CS
    2) Frontera (It’s Chilian – great value 12CDN)
    3) Wolf Blass Premium CS

  27. Dale Cruse says:

    I prefer red wine while working at night also. But I find I much prefer fruitier reds than the drier types. When it’s too dry, it’s a distraction to me.
    Dan, there’s a terrific little wine shop in Milton, MA, called Esprit du Vin. They’re online at: What’s terrific is that the owner believes that you don’t have to spend a lot to drink well.
    Tell Keith I said hi.

  28. Andrew Hecht says:

    Bonny Doon Big House Red is one of the best drinking wines around. They usually have it at Cost Plus or TJ’s for around 7 bucks a bottle. Amazingly, it’s a screwtop (didn’t used to be), but I’ve given up that snobbery a long time ago.
    I’m definitely with you on the glass of wine opening up the creative channels. Drink up.

  29. Morgan Craft says:

    My friend Captain Morgan and I make the best design team.
    Rum Rum Rum, gimme sum! =)

  30. For a dessert wine, I am a huge fan of EOS’ “Tears of Dew” Late Harvest Moscato. Mmmm, tasty.

  31. Pat says:

    If you can find it in your area, I highly recommend Sonora Zinfindel.

  32. Jeffrey Schrab says:

    You know, you nailed it.
    Just as coffee shop fiends and Apple Powerbooks seem to go together, I would love to see web developers being known/assumed as wine connoisseurs! ^_^
    Oh, wine recommendations? Anything from De Rose vineyards. It’s the only place I know of that offers a Negrette.

  33. This is fantastic — some great recommendations here. And that’s the thing about wine: so many choices. The more info one has, the better.

  34. Greg says:

    I’m a fan of the Two Buck Chuck: Charles Shaw Merlot or Shiraz from Trader Joe’s.
    I thought only winnos drank $2 bottled wine. My, how far our culture has fallen.
    Dan I don’t know if you can find it in your neck of the woods but look for Edna Valley Pinot Noir from California. The year shouldn’t matter, I have yet to have a bad bottle.

  35. Taco John says:

    “Two Buck Chuck” is the nickname given to any Charles Shaw wine. It gets the name because it is $2.00US at Trader Joe’s stores in California. It’s $3-4 at Trader Joe’s in other states. There is a Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, and possible a Zinfindel. One of the best values in wine.

  36. Caleb Rutan says:

    I am a big red wine fan. I love to have a bottle with dinner, share them with friends, you name it. Here are some of my favorites:
    Pinot Noir:
    Campion – the 2001 if you can find it. ~ $25
    Laetitia – great bottle. ~ $25
    J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon – this one is easy to find, and a great commonly available bottle. $11-$16
    Pietra Santa Sassolino – a mix, but a good mix, bordeaux and sangiovese grapes. Great bottle.
    Casa LaPastolle – Chilean vineyard. Have liked everything I’ve tried.
    Kenwood’s Jack London series are very good too.
    Ridge Vineyard’s Lytton Springs Zinfandel is great, if a bit pricey. For an inexpensive Zin, Rancho Zabaco’s Dancing Bull is a great one. ~$10/$11 a bottle. Some friends bought a couple of cases for their wedding in 2001, and it has gotten better every year.

  37. strength says:

    a Duvel, Chimay or Ommegang is my choice while messin with pixels..

  38. matt says:

    As for myself, I like to code with a little Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea.

  39. Calrion says:

    Being from the land Down Under, my current preference is:
    Annie’s Lane Cabernet Merlot 2002.
    Very easy to drink.

  40. Well, since I’m underage, and alcohol isn’t something just lying around the house, I’m partial for anything caffeine related ;o).

  41. Brandon Pierce says:

    I like a nice glass of single malt scotch. I do enjoy a good glass of wine now and then, too. :)

  42. Red Baron says:

    I always find that a nice, hot, cup of coffee works just as well. It may not stimulate the nerve endings the same way that wine does, but it keeps me up late enough to get the job done, intoxication-free.

  43. Russ says:

    Oh you must try the andrettis wine….yummy
    Yes the race car drivers have a winery
    Try it out.

  44. Dachande663 says:

    I’m under age so I just drink gallons of water. I don’t like coffee and coke gives me headaches.
    Aparently though cold water is bad for you because it cools you inside meaning you digest food slower making you fatter.
    Oh well.

  45. Tore says:

    For something different try a Recioto della Valpolicella Cl. riserva. It’s a bit expensive but a totally unique wine. As it is a bit sweet you don’t want to drink it for dinner, but for that late night glass it’s incredible.
    Also, an espresso and a Cognac/Armagnac/Grappa/Calvados works wonders in the wee hours.

  46. Dave S. says:

    During the day, it’s a couple of nice strong mugs of coffee for me. I’m on an African kick at the moment, with the odd Sumatran thrown in.
    During the evening, I’m not picky. I’ve been working my way through the cabernets of all the major wine-producing countries lately, and finding some great stuff from Chile. But I’ll take a single malt just as easily.
    Funny how I never get as much done during the evening.

  47. Adrian says:

    I’m more partial to a decent scotch when working and wine with dinner. But if you want to try one of the best most drinkable wines ever you couldn’t go wrong by trying a few bottles of
    Haute Cabri

  48. Phoat says:

    Actually drinking a glass of red wine or two is recomended by docters here in Greece. It’s been proven to reduce cholesterhol levels in the blood.
    So don’t be afraid to have a glass every night before bed.

  49. Phil Sherry says:

    The “work enhancer/work detractor” thing is VERY true. If I have serious work to do at home, there’s a bottle of wine on my desk. If I’m just mucking around on t’internet and chatting, there’s a cold pint of Stella Artois on my desk (yes, I drink pints at home – I’m English).

  50. Jimena says:

    I see that many of you know French and Italian wines but not the Spanish ones. It’s odd because we have really good wines, for example the ones from Ribera del Duero o La Rioja

  51. Phil Balchin says:

    Wine, thats a good idea, but, if i’m working late, it’s a pretty good bet that i’ve already had plenty of wine during dinner. So for me, there’s nothing better than a wee dram of Glen Ord, of something to that effect! it helps me focus, i think?

  52. Hi Dan,
    I love wine after spending the summer in Provence, (France). But, at present my favourites are Spanish Rioja great fruity red!
    Being in Scotland a wee dram of whisky is also good. I that not only does it hep with the work but it help with aches and pains :)

  53. Paul Turner says:

    I agree entirely. It’s become a standing joke amongst us. I also find the number of glasses of wine is proportional to the number of typos and spelling mistakes when in a skype chat.

  54. Matthew says:

    I think maybe this is an opportunity for the design community to compile a list of design aids. Something like:
    Blog designs: a soft red wine
    E-commerce sites: Whiskey
    Corporate sites: Freebase cocaine
    Art sites: Intra veinous Heroin
    you get the idea

  55. Vladimir says:

    Whisky. . . . . . . true

  56. J.D. Myers says:

    If you are into Zins, try Neyers ( . It’s about double the price of a regular Zin, but worth it. The ‘Tofanelli Vineyard’ is the better of the two they have.

  57. Bruno says:

    I totally agree with you, when working from home late at night, a nice glass of red wine will actually help me relax and tackle a problem better. It needs to be good red wine though, white is too sharp and bad red (aka plonk) is just not enjoyable, but make sure it’s not too heavy. And not more than one or two glasses otherwise it has the opposite effect.
    Red wine, in small quantities, 1 or 2 glasses a day, is good for you because it contains anti-oxidants. More than that and the alcohol starts harming you. A nice red should be 12 to 13% alcohol. Ideally, uncork it and let it breathe for an hour or so before drinking, so that it mellows a bit.
    A bottle with a real cork rather than a plastic one is better for a number of reasons: cork lets the wine breathe while it’s in the bottle, plastic doesn’t; cork is produced mainly in Spain and Portugal and the oak forests that produce it are amongst the best managed in the world and are the reason why South Spain is not a lifeless desert; cork is bio-degradable.
    As for my favourite late night work tipple, I would go for a Moulin a Vent or Fleurie from Burgundy (France) because they are light reds that are nice to drink young and usually inexpensive. If you’re more in the Port type of wine, try Banyuls which is a fortified wine from the South of France. A nice Australian or South African red will also do nicely.

  58. Donnie Jeter says:

    I don’t know if you would consider it wine, but Old English – it comes in a pretty good size bottle and costs under 5 dollars, great deal.

  59. Bob Cieszkowski says:

    Two of my favorites of the moment are the Cabernet and Merlot from Coppola (yes, THAT Coppola). If your diggin’ the Zinfindel give Ravenswood a shot. The Chianti from Villa Antinori isn’t bad either.

  60. Ryan says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of a little wine while I work into the late hours.
    I was going to list my favorites but I thought I’d point out my site devoted to those little grapes instaed. I figured I’d put my skills to use so I made a site to store all the wines I drank and my notes on each. It turned into a pretty nice site if I may be so modest
    Search my review database for some of my favorites at

  61. GeoffC says:

    Another big fan of red wine here. Find a glass or two very helpful if I am doing a big wodge of data entry/conversion.
    For new sites, I find just getting away from the computer for a few hours or so tends to help(also a good excuse to go to the pub :))

  62. M.e. says:

    I work in the design department at a winery. It seems like we’re always opening a case for some occasion. Vender lunch here, Marketing schmoose fest there…
    GOOD for design, BAD for PHP errors.
    P.S. It is possible to LOVE your job.

  63. Todd says:

    I’m a big fan of Papio’s Merlot as well as Prosperity Red.
    Both are on the affordable side at ~$6 a bottle, so you can afford to have one (or two) glasses a night and not break the bank.
    Great topic!

  64. Lee says:

    I work in an office where tea is drunk by the bucketload, and I find it the WORST thing for productivity.
    I get hyperactive after the first cup, and i’m buzzing with ideas after the second, the problem is I can’t sit still to do anything with them….
    A couple of beers or glasses of wine is nice and relaxing, definitely helps!

  65. Josh says:

    Wine, design, drunken design…. what a concept. Could the colors all blur into one?
    Two buck chuck is good, cheap and worth the trip to trader joes.
    Now soda on the other hand, that hampers any hope of productivity. Get hyper then the mind wanders…..

  66. Hugo says:

    Hello all!
    I want to make a correction: some of you have mention some Port wines that are not really Port wines.
    Port is a Denomination of Origin that can only be obtained by wines that are made from the Douro Valley in Portugal.
    Just another interesting fact: Douro Valley was the first great wine region in the world to be demarcated.
    If you want to know more about Port Wine and the Region click next links:
    Port and Douro Wines Institute
    Douro Wine
    Porto Town
    Now some of my favorites wines:
    Red Wines:
    White Wines:
    Quinta da Aveleda

  67. Joe Stump says:

    I’m a geek. Not the type of geek that codes PHP for fun, but the type that uses bitmasks for fun. I dream in code and have been known to “talk” code in my sleep. My best remedy thus far for getting past tough programming problems is to take a cat nap.

  68. Well red wine seems to be very tasty. White one aswell. But red is said to be healthy. Especially for heart.

  69. Jonny Roader says:

    I find a glass or two definitely helps with design problems, and can help with certain programming problems (maybe those that need a bit more creative thought?).
    I find a bottle or two definitely helps with client problems. :)
    As for which bottle to choose, if you can get hold of anything from Aloxes-Corton you’ll not regret it.

  70. Mark Halliday says:

    You have to try Spanish reds – great everyday wine. Here are some affordable favorites of the moment:
    - Gotim Bru 2001: Castell del Remei
    - 2003 Gago, Dehesa “G”
    but most of 2001 was really great

  71. Afisionao says:

    Yeah! Spanish wines are a great election. Try any kind of Rioja or any kind of Utiel-Requena ones. They are splendid.

  72. Iain says:

    Rioja! Yes! Truly the king of red wines. Not overly expensive but crisp, dry and full of fruit flavour.

  73. Benny Mildh says:

    Sometimes, when It’s been a busy week, and I come home after a long day of work, and there is still some work to do, I take a glass of cognac. It calmes me down, kills the stress and has a relaxing effect.
    Most usefull when I need to do some brainstorming, or just try to think of a problem from a different perspective.
    However, two glasses does not have the same effect…

  74. Definitely!
    What helps me in the morning, is a good cup of green tea, a touch of lemon in it, no sugar. Very stimulating, and you can drink even two or three cups like this in a row, as it’s a light brewage.
    In the afternoon, if you do not intend to work anymore, beer can help you to relax…
    Finally, when actually working, in the evening, the wine has a very good effect. Yes, I do not know how to explain it, I am not a scientist, I am just noticing. Red wine is the best kind of brewage for the evening, if you plan to work, to create, just to think, relax, or spend the evening with friends or a good ol’ book in front of the chimney…
    Great post, Dan! I always considered to raise the subject, and it’s good that someone at last did it;-)
    SIDENOTE: Just do not overdose, some 2-3 cups are enough, or smth. like half-bottle. That’s why it’s better to share wine with a friend:)

  75. O, and I forgot:
    The color of the red wine
    See the red color, how not to be actually inspired by this magic drink? ;-)

  76. Jayme says:

    I live in Vancouver, BC. We’re known for a few things here. One of them is wine, we have beautiful wine country in the interior of the province in the Okanagan valley. I enjoy sampling the local wines, it helps me learn more about the geography of this place I love so much. British Columbia is also known for something else that I find helps with the design process occasionally. But, I’ll just leave it at that. Nice post, Dan.

  77. Couldn’t agree more. I have the same experience, and in fact get almost all of my very best design work done with a chilled glass of 2002 vintage copolla cab (
    It’s 15-18 a bottle, but it’s purrfect.
    Note: In my exp, for optomal workflow DO NOT exceed 1 glass an hour (or less!).

  78. Tonight’s bottle: a Spanish Riojas, “El Coto”. Really great stuff. Thanks to those who recommended it, and all of the others as well.

  79. Snoop Dogg enhances his working experience by smoking pot, according to Rolling Stone.

  80. David says:

    Interesting topic. I’m not really much of a webdeveloper but my business does run on the web so I guess that would count ;)
    Coffee works fine for me. A nice mug of strong double-shot Flat White Latte Lavazza coffee works wonders for me.

  81. Jan Brasna says:

    … what’s your favorite bottle?
    Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay ’97 Reserve, Tarapaca Merlot Gran Reserva ’96, and Torres Sauvignon Santa Dinga ’99.
    I imagine everyone has a different work enhancer …
    You’re right. I usually drink ‘Irish Cream’ or ‘Apple & Cinnamon’ tea or Re*B*ll (and its Czech alternatives like Semt*x and Ere*tus). Eh… yes… and a cancer stick… :)

  82. Jesse says:

    Black Opal Merlot or Shiraz. Inexpensive and mighty tasty.

  83. Jeff G says:

    Try Leaping Lizard Merlot (from California).
    For the price (around $12 or so) it’s got an incredible vanilla finish. I was surprised.
    I’ve been chasing the likes of a New Zealand Chard for 10 years. When we were there back then we visited the Morton’s Winery and had one of their Estate bottles. It was soooo smooth. I had never tasted anything like it.
    A couple of years ago I discovered this smooth finish is due to malolactic fermentation. So when Miles utters these sentences on his way up to the wineries in Sideways –
    “I do like Chardonnay. I just don’t like the way they manipulate it in California. There’s too much oak and secondary malolactic fermentation.”
    – my wife and I let out the biggest laugh. We were, of course, the only ones laughing in the theater. Our own private wine joke.

  84. Adrian says:

    I once managed to do a complete redesign of my website after consuming way too much Guinness and Gin one evening. The Gin must have kept me awake somehow. Anyway, The shock of seeing the result of my drunken labor promptly dispatched the hangover and after a few tweaks to the code the design stayed in place for more than a year. I was single then and reckless, married now and kept in check. I still find that the creative juices flow a little better when thinned with a little booze!

  85. Rev. Mitcz says:

    Oddly enough, I’ve been using Absolut Vanilia (or Smirnoff Vanilla, when I’m going the cheap route) and Cherry Coke mixed for my home design pleasures. I find it enhances my ability to put up with IE’s fucked up quirks long enough to get the work done. As a bonus, I’ll think of more creative designs. I don’t get “drunk” per se when I’m designing, but working with a light buzz I think helps immensely.
    Too bad I can’t do that at work *sigh*

  86. Hey Dan,
    I tend to agree with you about the wine.
    I just did an entire site where I was paid in wine. (
    Some of the bottles I got valued at $350 CDN wholesale.
    Its awesome. After tasting some of the better wines its hard to go back to the regular stuff…but its all good.
    Tonight I’m drinking a Mitchell of Clare 2000, Cabernet Sauvignon from Sevenhill Vineyard…its Australian!
    I love wine!

  87. Dan says:

    My favorite wine is Redneck Red from Harper Hills.
    If you manage to get a bottle I assure you will be pleasantly suprised.
    *Mabye if you redisign their site (which desperatly needs it) they’ll give you a heathly supply.

  88. jim says:

    I always prefer a nice rock followed by some blotter to take the edge off…
    a nice chillian red seems to do the trick these days… :)

  89. G. I. says:

    I start to design only after 1 liter of vodka.

  90. MF says:

    Sweet, I never tried this but since the majority is vouching for it then I will definately pour me some for my next project.
    I know this may sound strange to some but I enjoy drinking my red wine with ice. Love it when its nice and chilly.

  91. Francesco says:

    I am always drinking something while working on code. From about 6AM to 9AM I’m drinking coffee. From 10AM to 5PM I’m drinking iced tea and water. And from 6PM until I go to bed, I’m sipping wine.
    Lately I’ve been on a white wine kick…Chardonnay to be exact. I find I code extremely well even after a few glasses of wine. It helps me relax and focus.

  92. Riccardo says:

    I live in the Chianti so for me it’s always been natural to go for a good glass of red to help myself focusing or relaxing.
    At the moment, when I drink off-meals I prefer white wines, either sparkling – like Prosecco di Valdobbiadene from Veneto, or still – like Müller Thurgau from Trentino.
    On the table, instead, I go for Chianti or other tuscans.
    This is the kind of wine I’d love to have on my table every dinner – if only I could afford…: a Brunello di Montalcino

  93. Kenan says:

    I don’t drink anymore, having found it unsuitable to my constitution. However, a combination of peppermint ginseng tea and marijuana is brilliant for those long Photoshopping sessions. It’s no good for coding, unfortunately.

  94. Mark says:

    Wolf Blass Presidents selection is fantastic!
    I used to keep a bottle of Vodka beside me that a friend had given me. Late in the evenings I would take a shot and continue feeling zinged and refreshed – more than two though and I was ready for bed!

  95. Alex says:

    A few affordable recommendations from the Northwest/West Coast…
    The Columbia Crest “Two Vines” line. You can find bottles for around $8 at most grocery stores around here. I’m particularly partial to the cab and the cab-merlot blend.
    Nearly everything by Township 7, a small family-owned winery just across the US/Canada border in Langley, BC. The website is kind of terrible, but the wine is inexpensive and amazing. The folks that run it are friendly, knowledgeable and completely unpretentious. Check it out if you’re ever in the Vancouver, BC area.
    Beringer in California has a line of “Founders Estate” wines that taste really good and tend to be under $10.
    I’ve also found some good deals on Robert Mondavi wines, which tend to be a little more money but also quite nice.
    If anybody has any suggestions for good cabs and merlots under $15, I’d love to hear them. I just started getting more interested in wine and things wine related last year, so I’m trying to find more about nice wines on a limited budget. Thanks!

  96. Christian says:

    I have to agree with Mark above… Vodka is very good for creative work. Since I’m from Sweden the preferred brand is of course Absolut or even homemade stuff. :-)
    You can get some really weird results if you drink a lot, and maybe something that you don’t even remember…

  97. Greg Kaufman says:

    The key element that wine, or for that matter any intoxicating substance, plays in shaking up the design mind and allowing one to think outside-of-the-box in web development is that all of these things change the level of consciousness with which we interact with our world.
    Wine, and nice dark ales too, are also known to have positive health aspects. Nonetheless, there are many who would suggest more natural forms of consciousness enhancement, such as meditation, yoga, or the like.
    Seeing as wine, beer, and certain illicit substances have such a knack for easily freeing up the over-stressed conscious mind, as opposed to the hard work that more natural remedies require, I’ll stick with the inebriating items for the time being. And hope my heart thanks me for giving it wine, and also giving it a little exercise once I am DONE with work.

  98. Congratulations, you have now made me promise myself to try drinking wine while designing this saturday. :D

  99. giovanni says:

    Ola. I agree about a nice glass of wine to help stimulate the creative juices late in the evening. I have also found that a nice single malt whiskey helps to stimulate me into the wee hrs of the night. And remember laddies that a glass or two of either will do you more good than harm. bank on it…

  100. David says:

    Favorite (non-workplace) wine of the moment: Estancia 2000 Paso Robles Cab. A thrill ride, especially when paired with a bit of rich chocolate …

  101. James says:

    Hmmmm…. I might have to try that one weekend on my next contract job. I have a reputation of not drinking alcoholic beverages. Though, I have had a taste of a few of the sweeter wines I could envision helping with my productivity. Right now I usually mix up a Coffee malt…. 2 cups coffee ice cream + 1.5 cups milk + 4 tbsp chocolate malted milk + .25 tsp vanilla extract.

  102. ellen k says:

    Funny I should come upon this article today. Last night, after a hard (overwhelming, upsetting) day of real estate shopping in my neck of the woods, I settled in with a glass of Shiraz and some CSS/banner testing for a redesign. Boy, red wine sure does bring clarity. I was able to focus, think outside the box, and was much more clear-headed than I find myself right now. It’s too darn early on a Sunday for a glass of red wine… perhaps I’ll put the work off until later this afternoon when the accompaniement will be more appropriate.

  103. Ogo says:

    I think spanish wine Solaz ,of Castilla region, could be a great company during any kind of activity needing concentration and good humour ! It is not a grand vin but it is easy to drink with very nice aromatic flavour! I tasted the 2000 production and I liked it very much and it was really cheap!(nearly as cheap as a “dog-killer” wine as they say in some countries about strong wines !!)
    (they seem to have international distributors but I don’t have any idea about the pricing..)
    I would also like to mention the Cabernet-Sauvignon of Los Vascos from Chile. They surely should make a discount for designers !!!

  104. Scott says:

    Funny… I’m sitting here editing some photos, drinking a nice red. I agree completely.

  105. “Hopefully it’s a) something legal”

  106. Over here in Brussels, we sometimes visit our kind dutch neighbours and get local creative stimulants.
    But, they all have their downside and you might end up slightly confused like the Brussels Royal Yacht Club website

  107. Paladin says:


  108. Matthew says:

    It depends on the project that I’m working on. For regular coding I prefer red wine, but for art (drawing etc) I prefer Jaegermeister and Redbull (Jaegerbomb). It gets me twitchy enough that I produce some pretty nice work. So, red wine for deep thought, Jaegerbombs for wild creativity.

  109. Aleksandar says:

    My family owns small vineyard, so he have our own wine – cristal-clear Rose. It’s rather strong wine, but I find it has the same effects you describe.
    If I stop at the second glass, that is.

  110. James says:

    Gin and Dubonnet. Roughly 40% gin, 60% Dubonnet. Make sure it’s a good gin. Either with ice and a slice of lemon, or just a thin sliver of lemon peel twisted to release the oils.
    Both the Queen Mother (the recently deceased British one, in case there are any other QMs knocking about that I don’t know about) and my father drank it daily. They lived to be 102 and 97 respectively. Not exactly cast-iron scientific proof, but all the same – mine’s a double. :-)

  111. Jennifer says:

    Wine is nice to start out with (been trying out a South African pinotage lately), but as the evening lengthens, I find a nice hot toddy is in order. My own personal favorite: Trader Joe’s Lemon-Ginger tea, honey and Calvados (which can also be found on occasion at Trader Joe’s for a very nice price!).

  112. Billee D. says:

    I most certainly agree with you, Dan. The work-enhancing effects of wine (or beer, in some cases) are superb. Humps, blocks and hiccups are easily smoothed out by having a means to ease your mind a bit. Not to mention that it can at times help with monotony (read: paying day job) when I work from home in the evenings.
    There are some great Aussie wines in any price range (Wyndham, I think is one of my regulars). There has been a recent addition to my house called Peace Family Vineyards which is a 36% Shiraz, 35% Cabernet, 19% Grenache, and 10% Mataro blend that is nice. I also like beer and my choice is Lindemans Raspberry Lambic. What’s a lambic? It is a Belgian wheat ale that is fermentented like methode champenoise champagne and (as is the case with the fruit ones) re-fermented on fresh fruit. This is a beer that drinks like sparkling wine and is oh-so delicious!

  113. Creford says:

    Good…It’s better to have less than 100 milliliters of wine in one day.

  114. Henry says:

    cannabis. lots and lots.
    you’ll find that you’ll do all of your work 10 times more quickly as you’ll completely forget to it in the first place.

  115. jeremiah says:

    This is in response to this comment
    I’m under age so I just drink gallons of water. I don’t like coffee and coke gives me headaches.
    Apparently though cold water is bad for you because it cools you inside meaning you digest food slower making you fatter.
    Oh well.

    Are you mad, who gave you this information. Cold Ice Water is great for you and causes you to burn more calories in order to warm your body back up. What do they teach kids in school these days. You end up fat because drinking gallons of water is way to freaking much water, and your basically floating.

  116. Cole says:

    Hey Dan,
    I do the same thing. I’ve found Livingston Red Rose is a great semi-sweet red wine that’s only $8-$10 for three liters! I can find it at Wal-Mart, Sams or Publix. Can’t beat the taste for the price. Best cheap wine I’ve ever had.

  117. Greg says:

    Two of the best wines I’ve had, each about $20, are Shingleback Shiraz and Dynamite Vineyards’ Merlot or Shiraz. Great stuff.

  118. Mike Tighe says:

    It is all about sitting down with a nice Gewertzterminer (spelling on that might be off, my German is lacking…)
    Gewertz (pronouced Ge-ver-ST for simplicty sake). Is an amazing white, especially when eating anything spicy (chinese food is the most amazing pairing).
    I guess working part time at a liquor/wine store is paying off…

  119. james says:

    I’m actually the web guy for a wine importing agency and on the (rare) occasions when we have in-office tastings, I find I can rarely get back to work.

  120. Kerry says:

    I’m not underage. I drink water.
    Wait, why am I telling you this?

  121. Kevin Klein says:

    My fave is Ravenswood Zin. The label design is inspiring as well.

  122. Yes, wine can be a great enhancer! :-)

  123. Bruno Miranda says:

    My favorite has to be the: Kendall Jackson, Merlot.
    It is a great enhancer for me, not sure if a WORK enhancer.