My favourite wine glass is, quite possibly, unexpected. It doesn't look much like a wine glass, it does not have the traditional properties of a wine glass, perhaps, and it will not be found on the shelf marked "Wine Glasses" at the shop that sells such things.
Yet, it is a glass and you can put wine in it. Ergo: it is a wine glass. To me at least.
The glass I prefer for all the varieties of wine that am likely to enjoy is a simple affair. It has no stem, no mark of a fine glassblower and it is a little on the thick and heavy side. It does not stand tall, nor does it hold a large quantity of the finest liquid produced by man.
But, in its vulgarness, it has some special properties.
The weight of the glass keeps white wine cool and red wine warm - for a little longer. The top is open, which is a boon for those who believe that the free flow of air is vital to the experience of wine. The base is stable and the chances of a dreaded spillage much reduced.
It is common in both senses of the word. As a design, it has probably been sold in its millions over the decades. My specimen was once part of a set that sat in a caravan in the Nineteen Sixties. Orange squash for the purpose of, no doubt. It is also without any kudos, karma or reward. I doubt it stood for any high-class nominations in glass-judging contests; it would have simply been too ... common.
But its commonness, like its vulgarness, has some special properties.
Wine is often elevated to the realms of the gods. It is eulogised, a little like I am doing here, in a way that takes it far away from where it belongs. My favourite glass brings the heaven that is wine crashing happily back to earth. It reminds us that wine is the joy of friendship, the bonds of family, and the lustiness of love. It is what we share during a meal, before and after lovemaking, and in the throws of mindless celebration at any occasion, anywhere, invented or prescribed.
Wine is not heaven, it is not hell and it is not love. But wine releases the soul that is all of those things; the base emotions that are us when we strip away the frippery of modern trends and our egocentric lives.
So, what better to contain such a leveller, such a bearer of souls than a simple, functional glass?
My wine glass is all that wine is. Simple. Unassuming. And completely revealing.
Which is why it is my favourite and has pride of place next to my hand.