The Wines of Gala is Salvador Dalí’s take on the “pleasures of the grape” and sets out to organise wines “according to the sensations they create in our very depths”. Published by Taschen, the reprinted book is a follow-up to the best-selling Les Dîners de Gala, which was a gastronomic romp through the feasts he used to prepare during the 70s.
The book sets out to explore the many myths of the grape while showcasing the “sensuous and subversive works” of Dalí, who was quoted as saying: “A real connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes of its secrets.”
The first section of the book is dedicated to Ten Divine Dalí Wines, which is an overview of ten important wine-growing regions, while the second explores the artist’s “revolutionary ordering of wine by emotional experience”, rather than by geography or variety. Eschewing traditional classifications, Dalí’s take is a “flamboyant, free-flowing manifesto” that celebrates taste and feeling through a multi-sensory journey.
Within these sections are various chapters such as Wines of Frivolity, Wines of Light and Wines of the Impossible. The rich and extravagant wine bible features 140 illustrations by Dalí. Many of the artworks featured are appropriated pieces, including reconstructed classical nudes with a surrealist edge. Also featured is a work from Dalí’s late Nuclear Mystic phase, The Sacrament of the Last Supper, which sets the biblical scene in a “translucent dodecahedron-shaped space before a Catalonian coastal landscape”.
Rich in content, colour and imagery, the book is a salute to the wild imagination of Dalí and honours his ability to seek out pleasure and beauty in everything.