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The hardcore Norwegian fans queuing in tents for Burgundy wines

Every year a group of passionate wine lovers queue in tents outside a store in Oslo for the latest bottles of Burgundy wines. 

(Image: instagram/Henrik Malme)

At the beginning January, a strange event occurs on the streets of Oslo. A queue of wine fans, each with large tents and thick sleeping bags, assemble outside a store.

The queue is a result of Norway’s unusual alcohol laws, which mean that the government-owned retailer, Vinmonopolet – often shortened to just Polet – are the only company allowed to sell alcohol over 4.75% ABV in the country.

Although unusual, it means that this unique event happens every year. On 1 February, the government will release the latest set of wines from Burgundy, with a ticketing system in place for fans hoping to get a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) or Domaine Armand Rousseau.

But these special bottles will be in short supply.

Incredibly, despite the queuing, the customers will not know until just a week before what will be available for purchase. They will have spent several weeks in freezing conditions, including snow settling on the roof of their tent, and may not even be able to get the wines they desire.

Norwegian news outlet E24 reported on two of the early queuers, Henrik Malme and Leonhard Spidsø, who came direct from a New Year’s party to the store in order to get in early for the release.

(Image: Instagram/Henrik Malme)

The duo slept and lived outside the store until February, using local cafes to eat and keep warm, and, of course, charge their phones, according to E24 – as well as using a gym for showers and exercise.

Malme told the outlet: “If you open a good bottle of Burgundy from a drop, you know that there is a small minority in Norway who have drunk exactly the same bottle. It’s a bit special.”

Fortunately for Malme, he was successful.

He took to Instagram to highlight his story, show off his bottles of DRC, and the experience in the queue, posting: “31 slightly chilly days on the street, what you can’t do for some grape juice Thanks for good company, to all the visitors and not least the food gang !! See you next year?”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Henrik Malme (@malme_henrik)

DRC will cost around NOK 60,000 (£4,500) but according to Malme, it was worth the cash and the wait, considering they work hard for the rest of the year.

The trip isn’t a money making exercise either, they are definitely fans, and the queuers said the plan is either to store or drink outright what they have purchased.

“If I manage this, everything else will be easy”, Malme said.

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