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Wine column: Welcome to patio season!

What makes a patio wine a patio wine?

Well, of course, it's the drink you turn to while on a sunny patio.

And we use the term 'patio' here loosely.

It can also be a deck, backyard, front yard, side yard or courtyard, your front stoop, veranda, balcony, terrace or lanai, beach, a barbecue, picnic, cruising on the boat, hike or bike ride.

<who>Photo credit: Steve MacNaull/NowMedia Group</who>Patio wines, from left, Fort Berens Vineyard Cider Rose ($19), Fort Berens Alluvium Red ($25), Garnet Valley Ranch Pinot Noir ($45), Free Form Riesling ($35), CedarCreek Estate Riesling ($25) and Mission Hill Reserve Rose ($26).

So, back to the point.

A patio wine is enjoyed outdoors.

You want it to be refreshing, approachable and quaffable.

I don't particularly like the term 'patio pounder', but some certainly use it in both theory and practice.

Thus, don't overthink your patio wine.

If it tastes good to you as you relax and read or socialize and laugh, then it's the ideal patio wine.

This patio wine column was timed for the last day of May -- on the precipice of June -- because June sounds so summery and prime patio wine season.

Therefore, beautiful and warm weather is assumed.

But, this weekend's weather will be a mixed bag, so time your patio wine consumption wisely.

Today looks glorious, so get out there -- glass of wine in hand -- and enjoy the sun and 22 degrees.

Tomorrow may be iffy with 16 degrees and a chance of rain in the forecast.

Yet, get back at it on Sunday when the outlook is mostly sun and 20.

<who>Photo credit: Justin Aikin on Unsplash</who>You gotta love patio season.

Here are a half-dozen peerless patio wines for your consideration:

- Mission Hill 2023 Reserve Rose ($23) from West Kelowna

A quintessential patio wine -- pink and bright and delicious for stand-alone sipping.

- CedarCreek 2023 Estate Riesling ($25) from Kelowna

Just off-dry and lush and lemony -- another stand-alone standout.

- Free Form 2022 Riesling ($35) from Summerland

Another Riesling suggestion because I adore Riesling and it's a personal favourite on the patio.

This one delivers with an plush apple-and-lemon profile.

- Fort Berens Vineyard Cider Rose 2023 ($19) from Lillooet

This sparkler will throw you for a lovely loop.

Yes, it's cider because it's made with Gala and Ambrosia apples, but it's been blended with some Gewurztraminer and a splash of Merlot to make it pink.

Call it cider, call it wine, call it cider-wine, call it fun and refreshing.

- Fort Berens Alluvium Red 2022 ($25) from Lillooet

Fill up your glass with this soft-and-smooth wine when the burgers come off the barbecue.

- Garnet Valley Ranch 2022 Pinot Noir ($45) from Summerland

A bright, but serious, Pinot with aromas and flavours of raspberry and dark chocolate with some earthiness.

The pairing for steak or pork tenderloin off the grill.

Spring wine fest

So much wine, so many events.

The Spring Okanagan Wine Festival launches Sunday with myriad events until June 23.

The kick-off is the first of the Taste Series in Naramata on Sunday -- a self-guided, self-paced tasting tour.

The Taste Series continues throughout the fest with the District Wine Village in Oliver on June 8 and 9, Kelowna on June 13 and Lake Country on June 23.

June 7th's Top 50 Grand Tasting gives you the chance to sip medal winners from the BC Wine Awards at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre.

There are Father's Day events on June 15 and 16 and an apropos Solstice Sips party at Silver Star Mountain Resort on June 22 as it turns from spring to summer.

All the deets at:

Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at His wine column appears every Friday afternoon in this space.

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