Salvador Dalí’s whimsical wine tome gets a refresh

Spanish Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí’s 1970s paean to wine, The Wines of Gala, has been rebound and refreshed by publisher Taschen into a glossy coffee table book.

First released in 1976 as a follow-up to Dalí’s cult 1973 cookbook Les Dîners de Gala, the book explores the pleasures of the fermented grape in texts by Max Gérard and Louis Orizet alongside “sensuous and subversive” works by the artist.

Dalí believed that “a real connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes of its secrets”, and orders the wines in his book “according to the sensations they create in our very depths”.

An acrostic poem by Philippe de Rothschild called Le Cave drips down the opening pages.

Among the chapters are ‘Wines of Frivolity’, ‘Wines of Purple’ and ‘Wines of the Impossible’, alongside more traditional chapters on Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Sherry and Château d’Yquem.

Among Dalí’s ‘Wines of Joy’ are Chianti, Beaujolais, Muscadet, and Rioja.

The book features over 140 Surrealist artworks by Dalí including a re-imagining of The Last Supper; his muse Gala holding up a bunch of red grapes; and a quirky image of a fluffy white cat weeping red wine tears into silver goblets.

Penned by the artist’s longtime friend, Max Gérard, the first section is dedicated to ‘Ten Divine Dalí Wines’, and offers an overview of 10 important grape growing regions including California and Bordeaux.

The latter half meanwhile, written by viticulturist Louis Orizet, groups wines by their “emotional resonance”.

In true Dalí style, the wine bible doesn’t stick to any kind of script but instead shows the workings of Dalí’s vivid imagination via a multi-sensory journey of flavours and tastes.

The lyrical writing meanders between poetry, play, history and fantasy. Each of the sections ends with a note on how and when to serve each type of wine

The tome also includes advice for “the wine-loving gourmet”, which includes suggestions on how to serve wine, how to pair wine with food, and a few golden rules, such as serving red Bordeaux with “feathered game and light meats”.

The Wines of Gala is published by Taschen and costs £49.99. Click through to see some of Dalí’s wacky illustrations included in the book.

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