The new city of wine

The new city of wine

The new city of wine

After ParisBrusselsLondon and Berlin, Stockholm is the latest city to throw open its doors and reveal itself as a wine friendly destination. Why the Swedish capital? Because not only is its popularity with foodies surging daily and reaching stratospheric heights, it is also a city where open-minded sommeliers and chefs are helping to tastefully foster a love of wine. And with bottlings like Crozes-Hermitage, wine is setting the city’s pulse racing. This webmag for the Crozes-Hermitage appellation website is its electrocardiogram!


The Swedish rapper, aka Petter Askergren, is a real wine geek. So much so that he has created his own wine label and sometimes takes time out to play at being a sommelier.

Wine to Petter is like the madeleine to Proust – when you get him going on the subject, his childhood memories come flooding back. He can see himself shopping with his mother in Systembolaget monopoly stores in the Södermalm district and then let his mind conjure up images from the names of the bottles of wine on the way back in the family’s Volvo – Tuscany, France, Australia, Hungary… When wine gets hold of you, it doesn’t let go. Age twenty, he fancies studying to become a sommelier, but music gains the upper hand and after his first album in 1998, others would follow. Concerts and writing new songs increasingly monopolise Petter’s time. But wine would ultimately get its revenge.

One day he was asked to lend his signature to a wine: “It took me fifteen years to really feel ready. I didn’t want to use my name just because it was relatively famous. I wanted to do something different. So I decided to learn everything I could about wine”. The rapper enrolled at Vinkällan college to follow a sommelier course. “It was as if I had opened Pandora’s Box, but in a positive way. I became obsessed. I devoured every book I could lay my hands on and went to every tasting”.
The resultant wine label – P.Lex – not only features on several different wines but also at two wine-friendly venues where Petter has now become a partner (the Käk in Stockholm and the Granen in the ski resort of Åre). He co-wrote a book on wine (Vin – så funkar det) with Alf Tumble, and has a quirky hobby – he occasionally gets a job as a sommelier with the Griffens, a steakhouse in the Norrmalm district!

Tove Oskarsson Henckel


Andreas Kjörling

After training as a sommelier, Andreas has since then drifted towards writing and photography. But he still has the same fondness for fine wines, and for passing his knowledge on to others.

A taste for people-friendly wines

“By choosing to write about wine, I wanted to help popularise it and make it accessible to the widest possible audience because in my opinion, it cannot be reserved for an elite. If it were, they alone would dictate the conventions surrounding it. If I had one motto it would definitely be: Wine, a drink for the people, made by the people”.

A passion for Crozes-Hermitage wines

“My very first trip to a wine region was to the Rhone Valley! That’s how I discovered Crozes-Hermitage wines whose sincerity and appealing character immediately moved me. I also remember liking their notes of spices and ripe fruits, as well as their captivating finish”.

Interview by Marie Arpnäs


Wine bars in vogue

Like other cities, Stockholm is now teeming with vibrant, fun wine bars that attract young urban customers who are increasingly sensitive to the values wine conveys.

Stockholm is…Wine lists leaving even the most demanding wine enthusiasts awe-struck, sommeliers who come away with top awards in international competitions, an attention to detail that would catch out French or Italians convinced they have it all sewn up and tasting schools that have been taken by storm.

As in the rest of Sweden, wine may be relatively new to Stockholm but it has a status that is given to the important things in life. Obviously, wine goes hand in hand with restaurants – and Stockholm has many – but also with wine bars.

Unknown fifteen years ago, they are now legion and dotted throughout every district of the city. The people who run them are often young with excellent training. As for their wine lists, they are more than a match for many venues back in France.

The décor and atmosphere may change, but the feeling that runs through them all is that wine is a joyful affair. The style is relaxed and the spirit hinges on sharing, whilst on either side of the bar, profiles are ultimately similar: both patrons and hosts are a young, mixed bunch but they all have a lust for life. Wine acts a bridge between them and also their vision of existence.

Enrico’s Café & Vinbar

To find this charming venue, you have to know how to get to Solna, in the north of Stockholm. Finding is, indeed, the key word because the bar is hardly noticeable from the street. The welcome is warm and the wine list successful. Interestingly, they also reputedly serve one of the finest coffees in the area.



Open all hours for a glass of wine, some food or even a strong espresso. Behind the bar is Béatrice Becher, Sweden’s Best Sommelier in 2014, and Jonas Sandberg, formerly with the Sturehof, one of the city’s oldest restaurants. The venue is not very big but quality is everything. Bonus: the superb background music.


Hornstulls Bodega

The Tjoget wine bar, a concept store that also houses a restaurant and a barbershop, hides a top-class cellar with carefully selected wines. The owners built it up on their travels throughout Europe and visits to small producers. The atmosphere is vibrant and hip.


Vinbaren - Eriks Vinbar

As you leave the Södermalm district, this popular venue serves a permanent selection of fifty or so wines by the glass. They don’t take bookings but the panoramic terrace tips the scales as soon as the temperatures start to rise.


Red bet

Could Stockholm be a safe haven for meat-lovers? Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the finest steakhouses in the city – we can vouch for the wine lists!

Of course, as Alf Tumble wrote in the magazine Stockholm by Crozes-Hermitage, the extremely pared-down style of preparing plant-based foods plays a pivotal part in how the status of Nordic cuisine has changed. Once unknown, now one of the most influential in the world, it now holds a place in the heart of foodies, all of whom can pinpoint Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo on a map, or even Holte, Järpen and Henne.

But what we like about dishes by Scandinavian chefs – the purity of flavour, the fusion with nature and all things wild – is also what we find gratifying about the biggest meat-lovers among them, particularly in Stockholm where many of the city’s kitchens often have a butchers’ block with a great piece of meat on it. And as distinguished cuts of meat and delicious, juicy reds like Crozes-Hermitage make great table fellows, these are moments that certainly deserve to be savoured.

“Crozes-Hermitage are extraordinary wines to serve with dishes in a sauce and game.

Maya Samuelsson


Located in a former goldsmith’s workshop on Kungsholmen island, this restaurant with its post-industrial décor – rough floor, white-tiled walls and exposed pipe work – serves sizeable rib steaks for sharing with the entire table.



The clue is in the name – this restaurant in the Vasastan district has a penchant for products from the countryside, the real countryside. In fact, it may just be that the venison you enjoy here was hunted by the chef Filip Fasten in person. Filip was voted Swedish chef of the year in 2014.



At lunch time, this is where to head for a freshly-cut beef tartare or a steak served with mushrooms and sweet potatoes. Is this really its name? Whatever the case, this is one of the places where Stockholm’s creative class likes to hang out.



The concept: a menu that changes but is always seasonal, with four courses, including three meat dishes plus cheese and pudding, if you’re in the mood! All the ingredients – meat, fish, vegetables etc – are from the best suppliers.



In the Gamla Stan district, Stockholm’s old town, this delicate wine bar with its perpetually changing wine list is the den of gregarious sommelier, Janni Berndt. “There are two things I love about wine – tasting it, of course, but also talking about it, because wine is an endless source of conversation!”


Griffins Steakhouse Extraordinaire

We mentioned this venue earlier – this is where the sommelier is sometimes called Petter. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxed, except for the cows and pigs which get devoured here in every imaginable way. This is the perfect eatery for meat-lovers.


Rolfs Kök

Located on the edge of the Vasastan district, this popular, friendly venue is not a steakhouse but meat enthusiasts will feel totally at ease here, and can even bring along a vegan friend! The XXL rib-eye steak gets a special mention.



Stockholm is a hotbed of creativity. These next two venues, which push the boundaries, lend credence to this – each in their own way.

Café Rotsunda

The name of this guest house – where you only go if you get invited – is the same as Michel Jamais’ blog. That’s not surprising because this is where the famous taster calls home. The master of the house, who trained as a chef, can be found in the kitchen, unless a prominent chef just happens to be passing through. But the focal point is always wine which dictates proceedings in the kitchen.


Punk Royale

The concept: one experimental set menu and twenty place settings designed by wacky duo Joakim Almqvist and Kalle Nilsson. No more than twenty patrons, ingredients from the best suppliers and unusual, or should that be bizarre, finds are the distinguishing features here – so don’t be surprised if you’re served directly in the palm of your hand!


Icone vins crozes-hermitage