The Wines of Gala: #1 Purple


I may not be drinking any wine at present, but I can still read, learn, improve my knowledge. In this case I am absorbing something of Salvador Dalí, who was not only a great artist he was a connoisseur of wine. He categorised  the wines he drank into groupings associated with his emotions and his painting; Here’s the first “Wines of Purple” which he lists as:

  • Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir)
  • Chateauneuf du Pape (Mostly Syrah)
  • Red Cotes de Provence
  • Hermitage Mostly Syrah)
  • Bandol (Mourvèdre and Grenache)
  • Cote Rotie (Mostly Syrah)
  • Madiran (Tannat)
  • Central European Wines
  • California Wines
  • Chilean Wines
  • Argentinian Wines
  • Swiss Merlot
  • South African Wines
“From the very earliest times, man, whenever he wanted a symbol of wealth, power or dignity has chosen two key colours ….. gold and purple. Royal purple, cardinal purple, Imperial Roman Purple, papal purple. The Greeks in their ceremonies made an extensive use of Tyrenian Purple.”
Not surprisingly therefore our most prestigious wines are “clad in purple”. The Cotes de Beaune reflect the majesty of the Dukes of Burgundy, the Chateauneuf du Pape is robed like a pope, the Hermitage and Cote Rotie are worthy of the Roman feasts of Emperor Claudius. There are many other connections you can find from the list above, but they are all vigorous wines, full and firm. They have a colossal range of aromas and tastes that linger into a complex finish.They are so complex in fact that even the best tasters have difficulty in identifying any single element of aroma or taste in Burgundian red for example. This is the key “message” of any of the Wines of Purple.
My two favourite wines from this list are from the Pinot Noir grape and the Tannat grape. One is a Burgundy, the other is a Madiran (From the South of France). Both quite different in nature but both definitely Purple. For the Pinot Noir I favour the Pommard 1er Cru from Les Rugiens in Burgundy, and for the Tannat a Madiran from Des Tuguets in Gascogne. So here they are, two wines I will NOT be drinking this week!
Wines of Purple!
{This concept is taken from the book The Wines of Gala by Salvador Dali.}
The book is Salvador Dalí’s eccentric guide to wine grapes and their origin and is filled with over 140 artworks and collages collected and created by Dalí himself.
In keeping with Dalí’s efforts to create artwork based on his emotions, memories, and dreams, the artist chose to organize the wines in the book by how they influenced his mood. The groupings are appropriately imaginative classifications including such section titles as “Wines of Frivolity,” “Wines of the Impossible,” and “Wines of Light.” A section in the book also outlines Dalí’s method of ordering wine by emotional experience, quoting the artist’s famous credo: “A real connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes of its secrets.”

{The background to my prostate cancer surgery and this months posts you will find here Prostates, Robots and Purgatory. }

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