It is important to remember that for wines to remain an irreplaceable source of pleasure, they must be appreciated for what they are, for the satisfaction they bring and not by whether or not they conform to a passing style or mode.
Is it not wine that brought Montaigne to say that « our pleasure is more refined if we pass through the stages of discovery and acquisition of the knowledge ourselves, forming our own tastes and opinions, without stopping to listen to what others would impose on us » ?
These few recommendations might perhaps be of help to you while undergoing this process.
Great and lesser vintages
The great vintages, those that are the best known and the most sought after, should they eclipse those that pass as more modest vintages ?
For the wine taster looking for the optime pleasure, the rule is that a good vintage will improve with aging because it was vinified and barrel aged with this in mind...five years is a minimum. A more modest, less solid vintage, was, during its vinification, more oriented toward the fruit, and less toward the extrations, in such a way that this wine can be enjoyed sooner than a « good » vintage. While still young.
The marriage of food and wine
The wines of Château Boyd-Cantenac accompany wonderfully well a great many dishes : cheese entrees, grilled and roasted meats, fish in red wine sauce, cheeses (avoid blue cheeses and strong flavoured cheeses).
Low temperatures reinforce the acidity and astringency in wine and dampen their aromas, whereas temperatures too high encourage the alcohol to dominate the wines making them heavy. Thus, young red wines are best served around 15 - 17°C, and more developed wines around 16 - 19 °C.
Avoid disturbing the bottle before serving the wine, in order not to stir up any eventual deposit, that though perfectly natural and healthy in the wine, may be less appreciated in the glass.
Cut the capsule : this should be done below the ring, on the upper part of the neck, in order to allow for easy wiping of the parts of the bottle that the wine will come into contact with when pouring.
Uncork the bottle
Wipe the inside of the neck to clean out any bits of cork or deposits that might have stayed behind.
Is decanting necessary ?
The presence of deposits at the bottom of the bottle is a perfectly natural phenomenon. It is possible to decant so that the last glasses served do not receive any of this deposit. In this case it is best to decant at the last moment, just before serving, because allowing the wine to come into contact with air too early is liable to let the bouquet weaken.