Journalist Tasting of American Wines – A Unique 70 Vintage Journey

AmCham and partners recently hosted journalists and Vinmonopolet representatives for a tasting of American wines at Park 29 in Oslo. Member importers AnoraEngelstadHaugen-GruppenPalmer GroupRobert PrizeliusTramontane, Treasury Wine Estates, VCT Norway, and West Coast Wines presented over 70 unique vintages currently on the Norwegian market, including newly launched products. In addition, AmCham proudly presented two wines not yet available in Norway.

Full List of Wines Presented

While enjoying wines from the Golden State and Washington, guests were able to view California-based LUCID Motors’ impressive Air Dream Edition EV.

A Journey Through California’s AVAs

Master of Wine and Head of Wine & Education at Kulinarisk Akademi, Heidi Iren Hansen Vestvik, led our Master Class – A journey through California’s AVA’s. Heidi presented a blind tasting of eight California wines, two from each grape variety, zeroing in on the nuances from different AVAs. The lineup featured the following wines:

  • Black Stallion Chardonnay
  • Marimar Estate La Masia Chardonnay
  • August West Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
  • Tyler Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
  • 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel
  • Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Zinfandel
  • Beringer Knights Valley Cab Sauv
  • Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Photos: Julia Ardakani

Heidi is also a certified Capstone California educator and provided information about the courses available in Norway.

AmCham and our member wine importers enjoy opportunities to jointly inform on American wines. We look forward to future tastings with journalists, partners, and members!

AmCham Wine Committee

Through the collective strength of our members in our designated Wine Committee, AmCham works to increase market share of American wines in Norway, addressing trade barriers, ensuring a favorable policy environment, and educating on critical issues within the wine industry. US wine market share in Norway has increased considerably in the past years, due in large part to our committee’s tireless efforts.

Vinmonopolet sold 78.8 million liters of wine in 2023, a reduction of 1.7% from 2022. This was an expected decline, as sales are still normalizing after extraordinary pandemic circumstances. US wines represented 5.9% of total wines sales in Norway. US red wine sales decreased by 5.4% in keeping with the overall trend in red wine sales. On the other hand, US white wine sales rose by 22% and American rosés increased by 3.3%.

Mapping Vinmonopolet

The Norwegian wine monopoly, Vinmonopolet, has the exclusive right to sell spirits, wine, and strong ale with more than 4,7% alcohol to consumers in Norway. The process of entering the Norwegian market and getting wines listed is exceptionally challenging – not to mention keeping wines in stock and on shelves once they are listed. As US wineries are sourced from further away as compared to their European counterparts, shipping and logistics are significantly more complex.

Together with the other Nordic alcohol monopolies, Vinmonopolet has created a formal collaboration and binding joint roadmap to reduce emissions by 50% and ensure transparency in the entire value chain by 2030. Stricter requirements emphasize the need for clear communication and collaboration to make sure requirements are understood and that new procedures are implemented smoothly.

Past Wine Tastings