For the last 15 years, the Pantone Color Institute, nominates a Colour of the Year to comb the world looking for colour influences and to universally appeal to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interior.
After last year’s Radient Orchid colour, now comes – Marsala. The reddish-brown hue is declared as the colour of 2015. And just as the Marsala wine, that it takes its name from, the Marsala colour is rich and earthy and seductive. Or, as Pantone describes it: “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.”
Before we start looking for inspirations in Marsala colour, let us firstly follow the Marsala wine from the Marsala region in Sicily to the British table. And it was an Englishman to introduce the Marsala wine to consumers outside the Italian region where it was produced. In 1770s, merchant John Woodhouse visited Sicily and experiencing the rich taste of the wooden cask aging wine, loaded and brought back to England 30 casks. The outcome of the voyage was a roughly fortified wine, whose taste certainly was familiar enough for the English consumers. And the marketing potential turned out so successful so 20 years later, went into mass production. And from that period comes the first written reference in the English language, when in 1806 Harper’s magazine pointed out as a key ingredient for a successful dinner: “Two Pipes Marsalla wine”.
Even if Marsala wine could be labeleled as “made by an Englishman”, nowadays it is one of the symbols of Italy. And when in the 1960s a “Protected Denomination of Origin” system was established, Marsala was the first Italian product to obtain such recognition.
Marsala wine is commonly popular and used for cooking, both the dry and sweet Marsala, to create rich caramelized sauces for meats and deserts. But the fortified wine, is much more than a cooking one, rich in alcohol and classified according to its color, which has to do with the grapes used, as well as the sugar content, the wine is quite enjoyable for sipping. So make sure to add a bottle of Marsala to your Marsala colour shopping lists.