The history of Carljohansværn Vinselskab
Carljohansværn Vinselskab is today probably a fairly ordinary, medium-sized, Norwegian wine club. We have 55 members, the highest membership we can have by the statutes. And the meetings are held as before at the Sjømilitære Samfund, Karljohansvern, Horten.
We have 6 fixed meeting nights a year with lectures and wine tasting, and a small, simple meal as "aftertaste". It usually meets just over 40 members at the meetings. We now also have 5 study / specialization groups at work. These meet privately outside the wine tasting evenings.
The wine club also has its own small wine cellar. Annual purchases are made to cover what we charge, and the stock is kept at around 200 bottles.
We also arrange annual wine tours for our members, and have visited well-known European wine regions such as Bordeaux, Tuscany, Mosel, Douro and Veneto. These tours are very popular and provide both good wine knowledge and a good social club environment.
The regulations have changed from the foundation until today, some may say only 9 times. But even with joy and honor we carry some memories from the start and union time in the club's ordinary life: The annual meeting dinner always starts with His Majesty the King's toast, and no ending without an Oscar-sup. The latter requires an explanation. The first time in the club's history was Prince Oscar, the later King Oscar II, an avid and joyful member of the club, and the bowl speech that has been named Oscarssupen relates to Prince Oscar's delight at taking a last glass of good wine in a quiet moment after the end of the festivities, preferably with a good story.
This is how the Oscarsup arose, and the tradition has been preserved in our club for more than 150 years. Until 1997, it was stated in the regulations that the royal family was entitled to access to the club's events, and until the same revision of the rules that: "It is for one of the active honorary members to propose the annual chrismas gift for His Majesty the King. This is presented in connection with the founding dinner of Sjømilitære Samfund. " This point in the regulations is fulfilled right up until the last century.
Another sign of union time and our historical foundation is found in the company's old coat of arms - an anchor with a wine leaf as an anchor chain under a stylized crown. The anchor "originates from" the sail regatta Desideria, named after Queen Desideria, King Carl Johan's wife. Today, the coat of arms is used actively on both the wine club's letter sheets, website, wine envelopes, etc.
About the foundation itself, it should perhaps be mentioned that of the 26 people who signed the invitation to the foundation, there was an approximately equal mixture of sea officers and citizens of Horten town. And a little special from the time it was perhaps that women and men were equal from the start. The club is probably the first example of cooperation between military and civilians in Horten.