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N

Sometimes used as a term or abbreviation for a normal liquid level in a bottle (high fill); see under filling level.

Term (also fill level) for the height of the liquid level in a wine bottle (although there is also a fill level in barrels or other wine containers). The distance between the lower end of the cork and the liquid level is ideally at least 10 to a maximum of 15 millimetres. Too much air (oxygen) causes undesirable oxidative processes and can accelerate the ageing of the wine. This is why modern bottling plants fill the gap with inert gas. In the case of leaking or defective corks, evaporation leads to a loss of liquid and oxygen penetration from the outside.

The greater this loss and thus the greater the amount of air, the greater the risk of oxidation. During prolonged bottle storage, if natural corks are used (not plastic corks or other types of closure), a small amount of wine is absorbed by the cork, which can result in a reduction of up to half a centimetre in the neck of the bottle. Certain producers, such as Château Mouton-Rothschild (since the 1991 vintage), therefore use shorter corks.

If there are several bottles of the same wine or vintage, it is advisable to open or consume the bottle with the lowest fill level first. This is probably the one that has matured best. In the...

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