However: it made me curious. Which wines from Germany ARE there anyway in Sweden? The good thing with Systembolaget (name of the monopoly) is, that it is so systematic: easy to go to the website www.systembolaget.se and browse and look for any kind of wine. This is what I found...
Currently, there are 214 positions of German wine (searched only white) available off the shelves from the monopoly. If you follow this link here, you get to the list in case you are curious. (And the number of positions will of course change with shifting dates...) It is a mixture of cheaper and unknown wines up to the high priced sector.
Not every wine mentioned means that it is available in all stores countrywide. That is only the case with the 'A' (alla = all) marked wines. Some wines can be found in two stores only, some can be spread a little more. Sometimes it will be just 12 bottles, sometimes it might be considerably more. It all depends...
Wines found at the monopoly are purchased by the monopoly after its own specification that previously was given out to all importers. Those receive clear information of what is requested, for which period at what time. From country via wineregion to grape variety etc. - all sorted in price categories. And if there is not a wine existing that matches the request, then such a wine is made (this for the higher quantity-wines anyway).
Interesting to see, that German wines in December 2009 had increased by 10% compared to Dec. 2008 and made 4% of all wines (7th position) (700000 liters), while the leading country, South Africa, made 20% (3.75 mill liters) in that month.
To see other months, go to the monopoly's homepage.
And then there is the portfolio of wines that can be obtained through ordering (called: beställningssortiment). The consumer orders those via the monopoly, too, but here it is actually the importers that make sure these wines are available for the customers. The monopoly does not purchase those of the importers, but works as the 'agent' between importer and customer.