Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good bargains for expensive wines in Norway


In Norway the state holds the sale of wine and liquor in its firm hand through Vinmonopolet. 240 large and small shops are scattered throughout 19 Norwegian counties. In Europe Vinmonopolet is a major player and secure a wide selection of products for Norwegian customers.

Taxes make cheaper wines more expensive, but as the tax is flat, you may get expensive wines to more reasonable prices. This as Vinmonopolet buys large quantities of wines from the producer at good prices, and they do not charge as much for storage as other larger retailers.

Many low priced wines, both in bottles or in 300 cl boxes are generally expensive compared to countries in the European Union. The price may even be the double of what you may have to pay in the Swedish Systembolaget.

This tax systems do have its advantages if you chose to buy wines on the other end of the scale. An expensive champagne as Clos des Goisses Brut 1999 is offered at 104 EUR per bottle in Norway.

On the net you may have to pay up to 10% more for this vintage champagne, and in France even more. Bottles there may cost up to EUR 122, i.e. 17% more than in Norway. In Sweden you will have to pay up to 30% more for a bottle of this luxury bubbly.

A good Chablis like the Garnier Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu 2006 will cost you 25,75 EUR, wheras you will have to pay 10% more if you buy the same bottle in the UK.

Other wines may be more evenly priced, but if you are travelling to Norway, checks prices of a number of items of your choice and go to a well stocked Vinmonopol in Norway.

The best are found in the major Norwegian cities. Vinmonopolet has even opened a new super shop at Vika in Oslo, where you are offered a wider and more exclusive range of wines of liquors. Here you may be in for a surprise if you know what you are looking for and has done a little research on the net.

(Photos. Top: Vinmonopolet at Briskeby, Oslo by bep
Middle: Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label for the 1999 vintage by Michael Case)

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