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filling level

filling level (GB)
niveau d`embouteillage (F)
livello di imbottigliamento (I)

Name (also level) for the height of the liquid level in a wine bottle (although there is also a filling level in barrels or other wine containers). The distance between the lower cork end and the liquid level is ideally at least 10 to a maximum of 15 millimeters. Too much air (oxygen) causes unwanted oxidative processes and can the aging accelerate the wine. Therefore, today with modern filling systems, the gap with inert gas refilled. In case of leaking, or defective cork it comes through evaporation (Evaporation) to the loss of fluid and ingress of oxygen from the outside.

The bigger this one loss and so that the amount of air is, the more the danger arises oxidation, With longer bottle storage, when using natural corks (not plastic corks or other types of closure), a small amount of wine is absorbed through the cork, which can result in a reduction of up to half a centimeter in the neck of the bottle. Certain producers such as Château Mouton-Rothschild (since the year 1991) use therefore shorter corks.

For several bottles of the same wine or the vintage It is recommended to first open or consume the bottle with the lowest fill level. This is probably the best matured. For very old and valuable wines are also made by the wine merchants and information about the level of the bottles. This is a criterion for the purchase price determination. For such valuable wines, depending on the level of filling, there is one after about 20 to 25 years Neuverkorkung to think.

at Schlegel bottles respectively. Burgundy bottles (long neck and slender shoulder) the filling level is described by the distance of the liquid level to the lower edge of the cork in centimeters. All distances below six centimeters are very good, distances of more than nine centimeters are critical. For Bordeaux bottles (short neck and wide shoulder) is considered unproblematic if the liquid level decreases at most until the beginning of the shoulder, that is, "high shoulder". This is the place where the bottleneck begins to expand. The internationally valid English terms of fill level grades at Bordeaux bottles are:

5 bottles with different levels and graphics with levels

high fill (hf) = No visible fluid loss, condition after bottling,

into neck (in) or base neck (bn) = slight fluid loss; The mirror is inside the neck of the bottle. There is no problem to be expected.

high shoulder (hs) or top shoulder (ts) = This level will come after about 20 years. The mirror is at the beginning of the shoulder. Still no problem.

upper shoulder (us) or high mid schoulder (hms) = This fluid loss occurs after about 30 years. The mirror is located between "high shoulder" and "mid shoulder". For younger wines, this indicates a cork error. There is already a certain risk of oxidation here.

mid shoulder (ms) = This fluid loss occurs after about 40 years. This is the location between the bottom of the bottle neck and the beginning of the bottle body. The mirror is in the middle of the shoulder, where it begins to turn back to the vertical. There is a greater risk of oxidation. Often a distinction is made in lower mid-shoulder (lms) and upper mid-shoulder (ums).

low shoulder (ls) or bottom shoulder (bs) = The mirror lies exactly at the lower end of the shoulder. There is a high risk of oxidation.

below shoulder (bs) or below bottom shoulder (bbs) = The mirror is already below the shoulder. The wine is almost certainly inedible.

Picture left: Von Murgh - Own work, Public domain , Link
Picture right: N. Tischelmayer based on Fill Levels by Cassander the Minoer , CC-BY-SA 4.0 , Link

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