The summer season has arrived in the Okanagan and Red Rooster Winery is inviting those in the valley to indulge in the perks of the season at its Naramata home. From both the patio and the tasting bar visitors can look out over the panoramic vista of the iconic grape lined Naramata bench, laid out in stark contrast to the deep blue of Okanagan Lake. It’s the ideal location to escape the heat of the midday sun and unwind in the shade of Pecking Room Grill, overlooking the winery’s meticulously manicured garden.

Internationally renowned, chef Darin Paterson brings several new additions to the menu this summer, including the traditional Italian specialty of Chicken Spezzi – a first for the Naramata Bench. And for those looking to indulge their inner child afterwards, why not try the Honey Pinot Gris Milkshake? There’s even a small selection of beer now, for the members of your party that may not yet share your own love for wine (although a few minutes at the tasting bar may yet change their attitude).

It’s a setting, and a meal, that calls for the 2015 Rosé – a five varietal blend that couples the traditional Okanagan-strawberry notes of a Rosé with an unexpected watermelon. Or, for those looking for something a little lighter, the 2014 Bantam white blend may suffice – with its balance of sweet and fruity notes on a lighter body. Of course Red Rooster’s newest varietal, the Viognier, certainly shouldn’t be left out of consideration either – with its unorthodox swing to fruitful notes over the more traditional floral notes. A selection this prestigious may just demand a second glass.

The Pecking Room’s Patio is open from 12 – 5, and the Tasting Room from 10 – 6. So there’ll be more than enough time in the day to come out and enjoy the view.

2013 Meritage – $21.75

This Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend which also includes Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot is distinctly Okanagan. Done in the traditional Bordeaux-style this wine is beautifully aromatic and with a lighter body then may be expected of a red that’s been oaked for 10 months. Awarded the “Best Red” at the Best of BC Wine Awards this wine is perhaps best paired with Chef Darin’s barrel smoked baby back ribs in the shade of the Red Rooster patio while keeping a close vigil on the lake below.

~ Blake Allen