Wine stampede at the monopoly

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Large numbers of men with well-padded wallets lined up once again outside Oslo’s most exclusive branch of the state-controlled wine and liquor retailer Vinmonopolet on Thursday, waiting for it to open. They were lured by the annual release of some very fine wines, and they collectively spent around NOK 2.5 million (nearly USD 500,000) within two hours.

The special wine sale offered more evidence that Norway’s economy remains strong when other countries are in crisis. The Vinmonopolet in Oslo’s Vika district prides itself on having some exclusive stock, and Aftenposten.no reported that staff was pleased after this year’s release of vintage Bordeaux. Business was brisk indeed, despite limits put on some purchases.

Those with an extra NOK 25,112.50 to spend, for example, were allowed to buy one – just only one – Magnum Ch. Rothschild 1982, according to Aftenposten. A Chateau Petrus 1982 was popular at NOK 18,000 a bottle, along with the Chateau Latour 1982 at NOK 9,000. Wine site Aperitif.no claimed the best buy was the Léoville-Las-Cases 1993 for a “ridiculously low NOK 423.70.

Most of the highly sought-after wines were gone within two hours, after a fair amount of rationing, power struggles and long lines. “There was a lot of elbowing,” Kathrine Dalmo of Vinmonopolet told Aftenposten. She recalled that last year, some customers were accused of snitching bottles out of other people’s shopping baskets. “It’s actually been more chaotic in earlier years,” she said.

Views and News staff