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Swedish governor shows cheap wine fit for a king

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Swedish governor shows cheap wine fit for a king
16:19 CEST+02:00
A county governor in southern Sweden has raised eyebrows for serving cheap wine to King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Queen Silvia at a recent banquet.

Sweden's royal couple was among 50 guests who dined at the residence of Kalmar County Governor Stefan Carlsson in March.

But guests who assumed that dining with Sweden's king and queen meant they'd be able to parch their thirst with the full-bodied flavour of an exclusive, high-priced wine were left disappointed.

Rather than imbibing a vintage Château Lafite Rothschild, the royals and other guests were forced to settle for bargain-basement bottles of Ecologica Berlina.

The organic white wine from Germany, which retails in Sweden's state-run liquor store monopoly Systembolaget for a mere 59 kronor ($8.90) a bottle, is described as having a "half-dry, fruity taste with hints of pear, honey, and citrus".

However, despite Ecologica Berlina's low price tag, reviewers at Swedish food magazine Allt Om Mat ('All about food') panned the "bitter" Riesling as "not worth the money".

According to the local Östran newspaper, which has reviewed all of the alcohol purchases made by Carlsson since his appointment by the government in February 2012, the Kalmar County Governor has managed to keep the booze bill for representation events down to a mere 14,375 kronor.

The paper claims that Carlsson's spending on alcohol is at the low end of the scale when compared to other county governors in Sweden.

In addition to 22 bottles of Ecogolcia Berlina, guests at the March 5th royal banquet were also served two bottles of cognac, as well as one bottle each of Kahlua and Grand Marnier.

Despite the wine's one-star rating by Allt Om Mat, wine expert Andreas Strömberg told Östran that "quality is in the eye of the beholder".

"Clearly, they were going for something organic," he theorized.

While the price of the wine, not to mention the wine itself, may have been below average, the cognac offered to the king and queen was around 50 kronor more expensive than the cognac normally served to guests of Governor Carlsson, Östran reported.

TT/The Local/dl

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