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Wine Freedom - Vinfrihet

Raising a toast to a more competitive wine market

Australian Business Group wine tasting

March 6th, 2012 by vinfrihet

Sharing great wine with friends is one of the many pleasures of my job. Thursday March 29th at 17:30 the Australian Business Group will come to our tasting venue in Grevgatan to try some wines, cheese and most importantly, have a good time meeting and chatting.

The Australian Ambassador has promised to put in an appearance too!

If you have not yet joined the ABG Sweden Linked-in Group, do so to keep informed of all upcoming activities or email Jonathan Hannam Jonathan.Hannam@areim.se for more information. Places are limited to book now and tell your Aussie friends!

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!


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Wine freedom just got easier

February 17th, 2012 by vinfrihet

After too many years answering no to the question “does Australian Wine Club only sell Australian wine?”, we have changed the name! Today we launched Mark’s viner www.marksviner.se , a whole new website, new name but still the same fantastic personal service and great wines!

Our marketing team have done a fantastic job creating a state of the art website that makes it even easier to find the right wines. And of course if you need more help our wine advisors are always available to provide personal service. Personal service is what we are all about and that is why we named the club after a person, who just happens to be the founder of the wine club, yours truly.

Sad to say goodbye to Australian Wine Club after more than 7 years but really excitng with the new name and website.

Let me know what you think of the new name and site!

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Thanks for sharing our passion

December 22nd, 2011 by vinfrihet

Yesterday we started selling for our 2012 sales budget. 2011 is closed, and a great year it was. Thank you to our thousands of customers for your support, comments, business and for sharing our passion for wine and food!

It has been amazingly fun to meet you at the fairs, read your emails and hear from you first hand how our wine clubs have become an important part of your life, lead you on an exciting adventure discovering new wine and food combinations and saved you a few hours a month standing in queue at the monopoly.

The family and I are taking two weeks off, no work, just good food, great wines and special time with family and friends.

In January we will have batteries fully charged and a lot of new and exciting things will happen!

Happy New Year and seasons greeetings for whatever holiday you celebrate!

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Monopoly on wine journalism too?

December 21st, 2011 by vinfrihet

It is an easy life being a wine journalist for a big newspaper in Sweden. You attend one tasting a month at Systembolaget, taste the new bag in box wines, give them a rating out of 5 or 10 or whatever depending on how high you can count, and write an article that one of the major daily newspapers publishes and pays you well for.

How many have ever asked to try the wines that aren’t available from Systembolaget? No one has ever asked us to do so, but that does not mean that they can’t have an opinion on our wines! Of course tasting wines is not a necessary criteria for wine journalists in Sweden to give them a rating (if I had to try hundreds of bag in box wines a year I would also start rating them without tasting them!). Fortunately we taste about 4500 wines a year to find the 400 we offer our customers so we understand that trying before judging a product is rather crucial. Sorry to disagree with you Mikael and Bengt-Göran!

Sitting down there in Paris travelling the world leading wine tours is Britt and Per Karlsson. Per and Britt also write BK Wine Magazine and Per dares to have an opinion that differs from the flock of wine journos back up in their former home country.

Per has written an interesting article on how two of the national daily wine journos have not been very supportive of wine clubs for no other reason that it is not in their interests to do so. These journalists have combined more years in the business than Systembolaget has been around for and share the same level of integrity.

If you can read Swedish click on this:

Soon it is winter vacation and my stream of consciousness will return in the new year!

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A sobering Christmas tale

December 18th, 2011 by vinfrihet

SvD today published my answers to Magdalena Gerger’s fantasy story response to my SvD Brännpunkt article.

While writing about fairy tales here is one of my own:

I had a word to Santa Claus (Jultomte) and he snuck me a copy Magdalena Gerger’s Christmas wish list. Top of the list was a box of Chill Out red but under that she had scrawled:

“Dear Santa, for this Christmas I want the politicians to all go to sleep for a hundred years and when they wake up Systembolaget can be doing home deliveries, just like you do Santa.”

“You and I both have our helpers Santa, yours are cute and little, mine are rather more sober but like yours they also do as they are told and send off surprise packages. The good elves at IOGT-NTO have been very helpful this year, please make sure they get all the gifts on their list, including the special ones I have ordered for them!”

“I also have a wish for the 400 000 children in Sweden who you know I often think about. These children have a parent with an alcohol addiction and I hope you will deliver them nice gifts this year. We at Systembolaget are working very hard so next year we can home deliver all the Christmas spirits their parents need to make it yet another memorable festive season.”

“Santa, if Posten won’t deliver the alcohol home to these families, would you do it for us? Maybe you would appreciate the all-year-round business!”

“Seasons Greetings from Magda.”

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APW Finally made it on to Systembolgaet’s home page

December 15th, 2011 by vinfrihet

7 years in the wine business in Sweden and Antipodes has never had anything on the Systembolaget website. Finally today we made it and not just anywhere, but on the Home Page!

I will upload the image tomorrow but while it is still there have a look at www.systembolaget.com

It won’t last long this great publicity so check it out!

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Clear and to the point: SvD today

December 14th, 2011 by vinfrihet

As a former journalist I read things and think “why couldn’t I have written this so clearly”? SVD Editorial writer Johan Ingerö’s article today in SvD is one of those moment:

Sida vid sida, tillsammans rycker de fram…

A tale of hypocracy, unholy alliances and lies laid bare!

Finally the truth is emerging.

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Systembolaget reported to Competition Authority

December 12th, 2011 by vinfrihet

No one likes a bully, be they a teacher, student, colleague at work or employer. And the law has zero tolerance for corporate bullies too. That is why today our company reported Systembolaget to the Swedish Competition Authority.

I explain how they have bullied us and why it is illegal in this article in SVD today: SVD Brännpunkt

No one likes to be bullied either and as every parent tells their child when they are subjected to bullying – the fault is not with you, it is the bully who has something wrong with them!

Systembolaget wants to start home delivery of spirits which everyone knows will have serious health implications. To divert the politicians’ and media attention from their risk-filled plans Magdalena Gerger, the monopoly’s CEO, lobbied the government heavily with incorrect information about wine clubs and encouraged them to kill us. They duped IOGT-NTO to submit a bogus police complaint against us which their lawyers prepared. This is a clear breach of their market dominant position.

Systembolaget is trying to kill something good so they can do something which everyone knows is going to lead to two terrible things – increased alcohol consumption by those in the highest risk groups and the fall of the monopoly. Why is Gerger doing this?

But as parents also tell their kids about bullies – they aren’t always the smartest kids in the class either.

To Vinfrihet and Freedom from bullies.

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The Australian Business Group Sweden

December 7th, 2011 by vinfrihet

We Aussies are not particularly clannish. In the many countries I have lived expat Aussies have always mixed with a wide range of nationalities. In Hong Kong the Americans usually hung out together, so did the French while the Dutch, Aussies, Kiwis, Brits, Germans and Scandinavians made up a mixed soup of social gatherings.

In Sweden Aussies do not really hung out together either. Most other major countries have their Chamber of Commerce or Business Association. But not us Antipodeans.

Until now!

Last night Jonathan Hannam kicked off a dinner for Professional Aussies working in Stockholm. He formed a LinkedIn group and 40 of us crawled out of the woodwork to meet each other. Most of us were love refugees imported to vary the Swedish genetic pool, but there were a few voluntary immigrants including two smart young lawyers who have done really well for themselves here.

Many of us had started our own business, were country or European manager for foreign companies or had found their way in to exciting local companies such as NASDAQ OMX, Spotify, Prima Consulting, Swedbank and Nordic Kitchen Group.

Well done Jono! If there are other Australians working in Sweden who would like to become involved drop me a line or find the group on LinkedIn.


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A once lonely voice growing louder – and stronger

December 4th, 2011 by vinfrihet

It is one thing to be right, it is another to have your voice heard. A lonely voice for quality wine in a sea of bag in box is one thing which we are used to. A bullied and illegally threatened company can find it hard to reach the right ears.

Over the past few weeks a number of very senior politicians have contacted us to discover the truth behind Systembolaget and IOGT-NTO’s lies.

Maria Abrahamsson
is a lawyer, formed SVD leader writer and now Moderat politician who, with a prestigious group of colleagues, came to hear the truth behind the PR spin. Read what she has to say on her blog.

Professor Ulf Bernitz’s article iin SVD is quoted by Maria and has caused a significant amount of hand wringing and consternation on Kungsträgården the past few days.

Adding to our 300 000 members is a group of intelligent thinkers who base their decisions on the law, principles of fair play and with Sweden’s best interests at heart.

Our voice may not have the magnification of SVT as Gerger has but when you have the truth as your echo, you know it will eventually find its way to the right ears.

Another exciting day tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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