When you think of Sweden, food and wine may not be the first thing that springs to mind – but this Scandinavian country can more than hold its own in the epicurean stakes. Alongside a delicious and traditional centuries-old cuisine, Sweden is also establishing itself as one of Europe’s best up-and-coming wine regions.

An Up and Coming Wine Region

As Europe’s northernmost wine producer, the wine of Sweden was always likely to be unique. The cool climate of Sweden is a marked difference from the Mediterranean-style climates further south, and the Swedes have spent some time learning to adapt production to suit the Nordic temperatures. Considering the industry began around a quarter of a century ago, it’s made incredible inroads over a short time.

While Sweden may not have the wine reputation of some other European countries, it is fascinating to be at the forefront of a burgeoning industry, who aren’t afraid to do things differently.

Today, there are several dozen producers, with many clustered around the Skåne region of Sweden. While there are a number of grape varietals that have been planted around the country, it is the whites that have flourished – in particular the Solaris grape.

Swedish Food Staples

Part of the reason for the popularity of the Solaris grape is the way that it pairs with Sweden’s traditional cuisine. While Swedish cuisine varies depending on the region, salted fish has long been a stalwart of the food scene; and it pairs beautifully with a glass of dry Solaris.

Other famous dishes of Swedish cuisine include various types of bread, and, particularly in the north, heavy cuts of meat, often with lingonberry jam. Generally speaking, the mix of sweet and savory is a common feature of this country’s cuisine.

There is perhaps no better time to visit Sweden than around the holidays, when tables are frequently laid out with an amazing spread known as a smörgåsbord—a term commonly used in the English language to describe a cluster of miscellaneous items. They are a wonderful way to sample a variety of Swedish foods. As you do, perhaps you will raise a glass of the unique, local wine.