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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Inert Gas Bottle Flush

Hey Guys,

Hope all is well.  So I was watching a youtube video of a wine bottling session.  I saw they flush the bottle with an inert gas N2 or CO2 to clear the bottle of oxygen, prior to filling.  I'm guessing the oxygen reacts with the wine to tarnish it not sure how maybe turn it to vinegar or something.  So the question,

Do you guys flush your Spirit bottles with an inert gas before bottling?

 I'm now worried that my bottle may sit on a shelf for a year(not sure how that could happen when its sooo good) and develop some off flavors.  I read a whiskey sommelier guy talking about how once a whiskey bottle was 80% drank that you should finish it quickly because the oxygen will react with the whiskey(maybe he just needed an excuse to get tipsy) and create flavors uncharacteristic with that whiskey.  Anyhow let me know what you think.


Thank you.


For most spirits, the small amount of oxygen in the bottle will not have a significant affect on flavor or shelf life of the product. Maybe a nearly empty bottle being regularly reopened can give sufficient oxygen exposure to the remains in the bottle to something like a whiskey to seriously affect flavor, although I think the small drop in proof over time would have a bigger effect. There would be some exceptions for oxygen-sensitive extracts, for example. But most spirits have sufficient amounts of oxidizing organics and dissolved oxygen in them such that the amount of oxygen in the neck at bottling is unlikely to be a significant concern.


Thank you very much bluestar.  You definitely helped me relax a little.


I had the impression that the problem with keeping a mostly-empty bottle around was not so much with oxidation, but the fact that so much aroma is lost to the headspace. 


Just recently I finished the last nip of whisky from an almost empty bottle that had sat with cap on for about 4 years,

Delicious, very soft on the palate, possibly even better than when it was first opened.

Wines are quite different, most don't like oxygen, partly because of the much lower alcohol.