Come Wine With Us at Plaisir De Merle

by Karisa

Last week I joined the cool crew from Come Wine With Us once again for one of their fun food & wine evenings.

This time we headed out to the Paarl / Franschhoek winelands to visit the beautiful Plaisir de Merle estate.

Now before this visit, I knew absolutely nothing about this estate… I hadn’t even tried their wines… So therefore this was a very exciting outing.

Just as some background:  The estate has a rich history which dates back to 1693 when Cape Governor Simon van der Stel granted land to the Marais family who had come to South Africa after fleeing religious persecution in France.

The estate (which is named after the Marais family home town, Le Plessis Marly) then quickly grew to be one of the finest in the region under the watchful eye of their grandson Jacob Marais.  Today it continues to flourish under the ownership of the Distell group which took over ownership in 1964.

Their range of wines consist of two whites, a Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay, and seven reds including a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petit Plaisir (a Shiraz dominated blend) and their signature wine, the Grand Plaisir.

Our evening kicked off at their relatively new, modern cellar which opened in 1993 and which is surrounded by a moat filled with Koi alongside a little watermill which is a replica of the mill built by Jacob Marais for his wife back in 1730.

We were welcomed by winemaker Neil Bester and enjoyed some delicious canapés paired with their Plaisir De Merle Sauvignon Blanc 2015.

Afterwards we headed over to the Manor House which dates back to 1764 and apparently today remains one of the earliest examples of Cape Dutch architecture.  It was too dark to take a nice photo by the time we arrived, but luckly the CWWU photographer snapped this gorgeous shot earlier on:

Here we enjoyed a 3 course dinner prepared by the team from The Birdcage in Stellenbosch while enjoying the beautiful sounds of Cellist Carol Joy Williams.

Dinner kicked off with a freshly baked bread selection before moving on to a hake & trout fish crumpet starter with pea puree & tamarind caramel toasted almonds paired with Plaisir De Merle Chardonnay 2014.

A quick Shiraz Cabernet gluhwein pallet cleaner then prepared us for mains which was lamb neck with a arabica jus, cab glazed prunes, carrots & potatoes paired with Plaisir De Merle Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.  And then we finished things of on a sweet note with a pecan tartlet with fromage ice cream, raisins & a lavendar glaze paired with Plaisir De Merle Graind Plaisir 2008.

Are you feeling some major FOMO right about now?  Then make sure you don’t miss out on the next one.  The details for their July event have already been released:

  • What?  A ROARING Twenties Jazz themed food and wine pairing with Durbanville Hills wines.
  • Where? Durbanville Hills, Durbanville Wine Route
  • When? Wed, 6 July & Thu, 7 July
  • Cost? R360 pp (includes a welcome drink & a 3 course menu with wine)

Hop on over to their website over here for all the booking details.

And with that I’m going to say:  Happy Friday everybody!


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