There are few things more comforting and satisfying than a glass of full-bodied red wine.
And that is why Pantone - the home-decor and fashion-industry leader in color forecasting - named the 2015 color of the year "marsala."
"It is robust, nurturing, and earthy," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in Carlstadt, N.J. "But it is also gorgeous, luxurious, and sultry. There is a complexity to it that is fascinating."
The muted-brown undertones in marsala are grounding, much like the yoga sun-salutation pose that evokes sinking your feet into the earth. The root chakra - the energy field many believe sits at the base of our spine and rules our sense of security - is also said to be a deep red shade.
"It's a color that enriches our spirit," said Eiseman, who also used the buzzword mindful when describing the color of the year. "But it also enriches our eye."
When the earthen hue skews claret, marsala makes for a bold matte lipstick, a vibrant nail polish, a dramatic evening dress, or a lush wall tapestry.
"This is not a kiddie color or a lollipop shade," Eiseman said. "The undertones give the color a changing quality and tell different stories."
In home interiors, marsala is steely and practical when paired with navy blue or slate gray, and luxe in the company of gold. A burnished marsala handbag or shoe is the perfect nude accessory for women of color.
Radiant orchid, Pantone's 2014 color of the year, had a chameleon quality, too. When the purplish shade took on a pink cast, it was joyful. When bluer, it seemed to signify innovation, Eiseman said.
Starting in late summer, Pantone reps closely watch American and European runways, survey clothing designers, and attend home and car shows where they study the use of color.
After the September runway shows, Pantone listed marsala as one of the top 10 colors in its spring 2015 color report. Other colors in the grouping included royal blue, minty green, and custard yellow, making for a color palette warmer - even cozier - than usual for spring.
Marsala showed up in many spring 2015 designer collections: Zac Posen's structured, high-low gowns and jumpsuits; Burberry's swishy, pleated frocks - more on the burgundy side; and Dolce & Gabbana's body-conscious pantsuits with gold embellishments, pieces that looked more like ornate wall hangings than apparel.
"There is such a richness to the color," said Jessica Saphire, marketing director at the Willow Grove Park Mall. She reported seeing the shade in store windows, including sleek blazers at Ann Taylor. "It adds a warmth to the skin."
More so than emerald (2013 color of the year), tangerine tango (2012), and honeysuckle (2011), marsala was made for makeup.
Sephora will release a marsala-inspired makeup collection next year. Cargo Cosmetics has a wine lipstick in its arsenal called bordeaux. And Kevyn Aucoin's blood roses lip gloss is very marsala-like. MAC Cosmetics is selling a gang of marsala-shade lipsticks this holiday season.
A popular shade for home accent walls, marsala is about nesting in the world of decor, said Eileen Tognini of Northern Liberties, who works with interior designers to curate spaces.
This year, look for Keurig coffee machines to come in the brownish red, and Crate & Barrel pillow cases to be pretty and crimson.
"It's cozy," said Tognini, who coincidentally bought a pair of sneakers and a sweater in claret this week. "We are all into comfort. That's why whiskeys and scotches are big. Marsala is safe, like a good, fulfilling prime rib."