Very well known for its kind people, ice hotel, and founding of Ikea, Sweden is a sought-after country located next to Norway. Sweden has a beautiful landscape with more than 70% of land being covered in forest. Although the land is beautiful, it does not promote a heavy mass of viticulture. Many vineyards rely on greenhouses or grapes that have been altered for easier production. An interesting rule that the Swed’s must follow is that customers can only buy wine from state run stores. This means that if a potential customer visits a winery and finds a wine they’d like to buy, they are only allowed to purchase it directly from the state run store. In Sweden there is a liquor monopoly called ‘Systembolaget’ (also known as Systemet) which enforces these rules. The downside? These state-run stores often have early closing hours which sometimes occur before dinner. Time to plan ahead! The most common grape in Sweden is Solaris; this variety often ripens quickly, is resistant to colder climates with little sunlight (which is great for Sweden!) and reaches a high alcohol content that is agreeable on the palate. The grape itself produces a hybrid white wine which is often off-dry, but can also be used to produce pleasant sweet wines. Although Sweden’s alcoholic drink of choice was ‘brännvin’ (the Swedish term for plain liquor distilled from grain or potatoes) not too long ago, it has very recently shifted to wine. Recent stats show that in the past few years 42% of all alcohol consumed in Sweden was wine.
10.23 million (2019)
450,295 sq km (173,860 sq mi)