May 20, 1453: This day marked the fall of Constantinople. The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II’s conquest of the Balkans and the fall of Constantinople in 1453 both constituted victories for him and led to the collapse of the local wine business, which included the marketing and distribution of its wine by a Venetian Doge. For Iberian wine growers, who could make naturally sweet dessert wines in contrast to the French and Germans, this opened up a new and significant market sector. This crucial new market for “Greek wines” in Northern Europe, from where the Venetians had been driven out, was the focus of the Osoye Muscatel dessert wines, the Port, Madeira, and Pico wines, Sherry, and the Tarragona and Malaga dessert wines. A revival of authentic “Greek wine” on the market was prohibited by the centuries-long Ottoman rule. Additionally, it lost its popularity as processing and preservation methods advanced and consumers began to prefer lighter wines.
May 20, 1929: On this day, unofficially referred to as the Wickersham Commission, the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement was founded by President Herbert Hoover and served throughout his administration. Its mission was to investigate various problems associated with the administration of Prohibition.
May 20, 1943: On this day, Albano Carrisi was born. Under his performance name Al Bano, he has spent seven decades singing opera, acting, appearing on television, and touring around the world. He owns Tenute Al Bano Carrisi, a winery he built to fulfill a promise he made to his father before he became famous.
May 20, 1965: On this day, Ted Allen was born in Columbus, Ohio. Allen is a television personality, food and wine expert, and author. He has served as a connoisseur for many television programs, including Queer Eye on Bravo network, America’s Best Cook, the program Best. Ever., and he even hosted the competition show Chopped, for which he received a James Beard Award. Allen has also contributed to various publications on the topic of food and wine.
For more dates in wine history, click here.