Salvador Dali’s 1978 Wine Guide, The Wines of Gala, Gets Reissued: Sensual Viticulture Meets Surreal Art

Pop­u­lar food cul­ture is dom­i­nat­ed by sta­tus sym­bols of restau­rant-inspired con­sumer kitchen­ware and appli­ances, thanks in large part to real­i­ty tele­vi­sions shows about cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions which can make the prepa­ra­tion of haute cui­sine seem more acces­si­ble to the aver­age home chef than it may actu­al­ly be.

Many would argue, how­ev­er, that we’ve come a long way since the 70s, when the mass-mar­ket prod­ucts that held sway over best-sell­ing cook­ing guides went by names like Ham­burg­er Helper, Cool Whip, and Jel­lo. Back then, will­ful anachro­nism Sal­vador Dali stepped into this com­mer­cial land­scape with his 1973 cook­book Les Din­ers de Gala, offer­ing aris­to­crat­ic, extrav­a­gant recipes—next to even more extrav­a­gant art—with exot­ic ingre­di­ents often impos­si­ble to find at the local super­mar­ket both then and now.

Dali made it plain that his object was to bring back pure plea­sure to din­ing, the adven­tur­ous opu­lence he and his wife, Gala, so appre­ci­at­ed in their own out­sized social lives. A few years lat­er, Dali did the same thing with the fine-din­ing bev­er­age of choice, pub­lish­ing The Wines of Gala, an “eccen­tric guide to wine grapes and their ori­gin,” writes This is Colos­sal. The book’s “group­ings are appro­pri­ate imag­i­na­tive clas­si­fi­ca­tions.”

The Wines of Gala splits into two parts: “Ten Divine Dali Wines” and “Ten Gala Wines.” The lat­ter includes cat­e­gories like “Wines of Friv­o­li­ty,” “Wines of Joy,” “Wines of Sen­su­al­i­ty,” “Wines of Pur­pose,” and “Wines of Aes­theti­cism.” Among the Divine Dali Wines, we find “The Wine of King Minos,” “Lacrima Christi,” “Chateauneuf-du-Pape,” and “Sher­ry.” In an appen­dix, Dali sur­veys “Vine­yards of the World,” gen­er­al­ly, and “Vine­yards of France,” specif­i­cal­ly, and offers “Advice to the Wine-Lov­ing Gourmet.”

While some of Dali’s wine advice may go over our heads, maybe the real rea­son we’re drawn to his cook­book and wine guide is the art­work they con­tain with­in their pages, like­ly also the prin­ci­ple rea­son arts pub­lish­er Taschen has reis­sued both of these pub­li­ca­tions. The Wines of Gala is due out on Novem­ber 21, but you can pre-order a hard copy now (or find used copies of the orig­i­nal 1970s edi­tion here). In it you’ll find much bewitch­ing orig­i­nal art to com­ple­ment the pas­sion­ate descrip­tions of wine.

The “rich and extrav­a­gant wine bible fea­tures 140 illus­tra­tions by Dali,” notes Rebec­ca Ful­leylove. “Many of the art­works fea­tured are appro­pri­at­ed pieces, includ­ing… a work from Dali’s late Nuclear Mys­tic phase, The Sacra­ment of the Last Sup­per.” Even to this solemn affair, Dali brings “his abil­i­ty to seek out plea­sure and beau­ty in every­thing.”

via This is Colos­sal/It’s Nice That

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sal­vador Dalí’s 1973 Cook­book Gets Reis­sued: Sur­re­al­ist Art Meets Haute Cui­sine

Sal­vador Dalí Goes Com­mer­cial: Three Strange Tele­vi­sion Ads

Sal­vador Dalí’s Melt­ing Clocks Paint­ed on a Lat­te

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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