Sweden’s alcohol monopoly challenged

4:41 min

Buying wine online may get easier in Sweden. That's if grocery chain City Gross has its way. It wants to join forces with wine delivery service Winefinder to offer home deliveries to customers who order wine over the internet.

The problem is, the sale of alcohol is heavily regulated in Sweden and Systembolaget, the state-owned retail alcohol monopoly, did not take the news well. Temperance activists are upset, too.

But on social media many Swedes cheered. One of those enthusiasts is Magnus Ericsson, a wine critic and editor at Helsingborgs Dagblad.

“The monopoly has served us well. A hundred years ago we were a nation on the brink of destroying ourselves with alcohol consumption…but now, in modern Europe, we need variety,” he tells Radio Sweden.

Systembolaget’s CEO Magdalena Gerger reacted strongly to City Gross’ initiative, saying she will raise the matter with the government.