On a warm summer night in Los Angeles, I made my way to the Hollywood Hills to meet up with one of Travel + Leisure's favorite jet-setters: John Legend.
As I pulled up to the palatial home, I was first greeted by a crystal blue swimming pool filled to the brim with pink roses. Fitting, as Legend was there to celebrate the launch of his new LVE Côtes de Provence rosé. I was quickly handed a glass by a waiter, and immediately tasted the peach, apricot, and strawberry notes the winemaker promises.
I then met met up with Legend, who was wearing a matching light pink suit to coordinate with his newest creation. And yes, he's probably the only man on Earth who could dress up like a human bottle of rosé and still look completely dashing.
We sat down to talk about his wines, how they were inspired by his travels, and his traveling philosophy. Toward the end of our interview, his wife — you know, Chrissy Teigen — gave him a call, so we made sure to ask about her, too.
Travel + Leisure: Let's talk first about the wine.
John Legend: "So our first wine was a cabernet in 2013, and second one was a 2014 chardonnay and then we did a red blend. It's a Petite Sirah. And then, finally, this rosé is our fourth one."
You guys travel a lot to Italy. Was that what inspired this wine?
"We travel to the South of France a lot, which is where LVE rosé is from, in Provence. And we travel to Napa a lot, which is where the other wines are from. And so I think our travel definitely inspired our love for wine. We get to combine romance, wine, travel, food, all that in some really beautiful places."
Speaking of all that traveling, do you have a favorite bag that you carry everywhere with you?
What do you always carry with you for the plane ride?
Well, there's other stuff in there, but I always make sure there's some underwear in there in case my luggage gets lost.
What else do you have?
My other favorite carry-on is my Tom Ford backpack. I always have my laptop in there, my passport, all my essentials right there.
Do you have a travel philosophy? Roughing it or luxury?
Luxury. (Laughs) It's pretty clear I like luxury more than roughing it.
Do you have a favorite hotel?
There's quite a few. We've been to a beautiful place in Bali called the Como Shambhala. It's a wellness resort. It’s beautiful and has amazing food. We're going to go there again this year.
Where's one place you guys could go back to over and over again?
We could go to Villa D’Este, which is where we fell in love very early in our relationship. We got married right around the corner from there and we stay there almost every year. That's one of our favorites.
Where somewhere you've never been that you really want to go?
India. I've never been.
What would be one piece of advice you'd give to a first-time traveler?
Read up a bit before you go and try to think of the things that you would really love to do and don't do a vacation for other people. Do it for what you actually enjoy. If you love food, if you love wine, really like dive into it. Whatever you love, do the research ahead of time and find those places so you can make the most of your trip
Say someone's traveling for wine. Would you say Italy, France, or Napa?
I feel like you're going to have a lot of fun in any of these places. I think it also depends on what kind of food you like because you can have great wine at any of those places, but the cuisine is a bit different in each place. We love Italian food, so we probably enjoy it a little more in Tuscany. I mean you can't go wrong in any of these.
Chrissy has shared some travel tips with us before, but what's your best advice for traveling with your children?
We've learned to get Luna her own seat and bring her car seat so we can strap her in.
Are Chrissy and Luna as good travel partners as they seem to be?
They're not terrible. Miles doesn't even have a personality yet. He's just silent most of the time, but he hasn't flown anywhere yet, so we'll see.