Ask The Wine Ladies


Dear Wine Ladies,

How does one know whether a Champagne is dry, off dry or sweet? The terms on the bottles seem very confusing. We prefer Champagnes that are sweeter, last week we were told to select a Champagne labelled demi-sec or doux, doesn’t demi-sec mean off-dry?




Read more: How does one know whether a Champagne is dry, off dry or sweet?Ask The Wine Ladies March 2015


Dear Wine Ladies,

We recently enjoyed a red wine from South Africa called Pinotage. I understood it was a blend of two wines, Pinot Noir and Cinsaut then discovered it is a clone of Pinot Noir. Or is it?

Jack, Mississauga, Ontario

Dear Jack,


Pinotage, considered to be the signature grape variety of South Africa is not a clone of Pinot Noir, it is actually a cross between the two grapes Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. The variety was created in 1925 by Professor Perold of Stellenbosch University. At the time, and occasionally today, Cinsaut was commonly called Hermitage in South Africa, hence the contraction Pinotage.


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Dear Wine Ladies,

This may sound like a silly question but I’m truly at odds on the best way to deal with a crumbly cork! Last night, once again, while trying to open a bottle of wine the cork was dry and crumbly. The harder I tried, and the further I drove the cork screw, the more the cork crumbled and then finally ended up in fragments in the bottle. Is there a way to properly extract a crumbly cork?

Chris, Houston, Texas.

Read more: What's the best way to deal with a crumbly cork! Ask The Wine Ladies.Tune in to

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