World Alcohol and Drinking History Timeline

The Recent Decades

From 1980 to the Present Day

Many people will be able to remember some of the alcohol and drinking events that are listed for the decades following 1980. Perhaps you remember Billy Beer, watching or hearing about 60 Minutes’ report of the French Paradox, or when the federal government forced all states to establish .08 as the maximum legal BAC for driving.

Note: This timeline presents events in the history of alcohol and drinking during the current period. When events appeared over a period of time such as Early 1980s, it appears before more specific dates, such as 1980.

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Early 1980s

An overabundance of Shiraz in Australia led to a government program to uproot the vines.1 Ironically, increased popularity of Shiraz has led to its being the most widely planted grape in the country.

1980

MADD’s founder, Candy Lightner, later left the organization and complained that it had became increasingly anti-alcohol rather than simply anti-drunk-driving. "It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned," she said. "I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving."65

1981

The Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce launched Vinexpo, which has become a major event in the wine and spirits industry.5

1982

1983

The story of the now-famous Cloudy Bay winery in the Marlborough region of New Zealand began when David Hohnen first tasted Sauvignon Blanc produced there. “With the first sip, he was stunned. The wine was like nothing he had ever experienced. Its taste exploded in his mouth and demanded attention.” He soon began producing his own at Cloudy Bay.8

1984

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 was passed in the U.S.9

1985

A handful of Austria’s 40,000 wine producers artificially sweetened their wine by adding diethylene glycol. News organizations around the world mistook the additive for anti-freeze and claimed that Austrian wine was poisoned. In reality, the additive was less toxic than the alcohol in the wine, but the so-called scandal harmed sales.10 It might well be argued that the real scandal was that news media were so careless and irresponsible and ended up harming so many innocent people.

1986

On the tenth anniversary of the historic Judgment of Paris wine competition, two replications were conducted with the red wines (it being assumed that the whites would all be past their prime). In both competitions (the French Cullinary Institute and the Wine Spectator blind tastings), the California wines aged better and increased their rankings.11

1987

“Until 1987, it was illegal to age, bottle, and ship port from anywhere but Vila Nova de Gaia. The goal was to prevent the wine from suffering from the ‘Douro burn,’ caused by the high summer temperatures in the Upper douro. Today, air conditioning makes it possible to prevent the burn...”

1988

1989

1990s

1990

British Columbia implemented the Canadian named origin system called Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA).20

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Naltrexone for the treatment of alcoholism.30

1996

Sherry (also called Jerez or Xeres) obtained exclusive legal right in the EU for the use of that name.31

1997

Vietnam outlawed the advertising of alcoholic beverages.32

1998

1999

“President Jacques Chirac in 1999 made [wine critic Robert] Parker a knight in the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest award, calling him the ‘most followed and influential critic of French wines in the world.’”35 He was and remains the most influential wine critic of wine in the world.

2000

Twenty-First Century

2001

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E. or DARE) program was taught to nearly 40 million students in over 50 countries around the world. A large five-year study of the program was initiated to determine if it was effective in reducing alcohol and drug consumption (it was not).38

2002

2003

An alleged hangover cure became available outside of Russia under the brand name RU 21.42

2004

2005

The United States has the highest national minimum legal drinking age in the world49 and the strictest youth drinking laws in the Western World.50

2006

2007

Absinthe again became legal in the U.S. after almost a century-long ban. It had become illegal because of its supposedly hallucinogenic properties, a belief which appears to have been promoted by French wine producers who faced stiff competition from the increasingly popular beverage.54

2008

The largest brewer in the U.S. announced that it would stop producing caffeinated alcoholic beverages under pressure from 11 state attorneys general who believed that it constituted a health hazard.55

2009

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) entered into a license agreement to produce a line of non-alcoholic beverages, “MADD Virgin Drinks.” They include virgin cocktails (Mohito, Margarita, and Pina Colada), a virgin Lager & Lime, virgin Red and White, and a virgin sparkling white Wine.56

2010

2011

France lifted its 96 year ban on absinthe.59

2012

Wine author Paul Lukacs asserted that “The only places producing truly poor-quality wines in any significant volume are parts of the former Soviet Union as well as eastern and southern Asia.....”60

2013

 

Have You Visited The Past Yet?

This page is part of a timeline that presents events in the history of alcohol and drinking over the past 12,000 years in chronological order.

Resources

  • 1 Faith, N. Australia’s Liquid Gold. London: Mitchell Beazley, 2002.
  • 2 Nachel. Marty. Beer for Dummies. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, 1996, p. 265.
  • 3 History of MADD. MADD website. madd.org/about-us/mission/.
  • 4 Plant, Martin. The United kingdom. In: Heath, Dwight B., editor. International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995. Pp. 289-299. P. 292.
  • 5 History and strategy. Vineexpo website. vinexpo.com/en/about-vinexpo/history-and-strategy-19812010/
  • 6 Gately, Iain. Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol. NY: Gotham, 2008, p. 476.
  • 7 Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris. California vs. France and the historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. New York: Scribner, 2005, p. 276.
  • 8 Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris. California vs. France and the historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. New York: Scribner, 2005, pp. 244-247.
  • 9 The National Minimum Legal Drinking Age Act of 1984. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/YouthIssues/1092767630.html.)
  • 10 Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. 4th edition. London: DK, 2005, p. 388.
  • 11 Historic Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 and Other Significant Competitions. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Controversies/20060517115643.html
  • 12 Deaver, Elizabeth L. History and Implications of the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of 1988. Journal of Substance Use, 1997, 2(4), 234-237.
  • 13 Esteicher, Stefan K. Wine from Neolithic Times to the 21st Century. New York: Algora Publishing, 2006, p. 145.
  • 14 Warwick, Michael. Beer - The Ties that Bind. University of Warwick. Department of Economics. Warwick Economic Research Papers, No. 930, n.d.
  • 15 Asmundsson, Gylfi. Iceland. In: Heath, Dwight B., (ed.) International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995. Pp. 117-127. P. 119.
  • 16 Robinson, Jancis. The Oxford Companion to Wine. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 597.
  • 17 Tabak, Nate and Hugh-Jones, Rob. Kosovo’s Wines Flowing Again. October 28, 2011. BBC News website. bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15401459
  • 18 Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris. California vs. France and the historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. New York: Scribner, 2005, p. 279.
  • 19 Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris. California vs. France and the historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. New York: Scribner, 2005, p. 235.
  • 20 Esteicher, Stefan K. Wine from Neolithic Times to the 21st Century. New York: Algora Publishing, 2006, p. 145.
  • 21 U.S. Department of Transportation website, Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, at dot.gov/odapc/omnibus-transportation-employee-testing-act-1991.
  • 22 CBS News website at .cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4750380n
  • 23 Brabart. Malcolm. Denmark’s Wine Challenge. June 28, 2002. BBC News website. bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2072684.stm
  • 24 Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. 4th edition. London: DK, 2005, p. 59
  • 25 Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. 4th edition. London: DK, 2005, p. pp. 263-264.
  • 26 Charters, Stephen. Wine and Society. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006, p. 290.
  • 27 Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. 4th ed. London: DK, 2005, p. 618
  • 28 Charters, Stephen. Wine and Society. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006, p. 282.
  • 29 Charters, Stephen. Wine and Society. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006, pp. 288-289.
  • 30 U.S. Food and drug Administration website. fda.gov/Drugs/default.htm.
  • 31 Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. 4th ed. London: DK, 2005, p. 321.
  • 32 Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. 4th ed. London: DK, 2005, p. 618.
  • 33 Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris. California vs. France and the historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. New York: Scribner, 2005, p. 251.
  • 34 The Road to Recovery http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Controversies/The-Road-to-Recovery.html
  • 35 Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris. California vs. France and the historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. New York: Scribner, 2005, p. 239.
  • 36 Morris, Jim. Clinton Signs Tougher Drunken Driving Law: States That Don’t Comply Risk Loss of Highway Funds. 23 October, 2000. CNN.com. website. .cnn.com/2000/US/10/23/blood.alcohol.level/.
  • 37 Lukacs, Paul. Inventing Wine. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012, p. 233.
  • 38 DARE Still Fails to Reduce Alcohol and Drug Abuse. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/YouthIssues/20081008112145.html
  • 39 Brabart. Malcolm. Denmark’s Wine Challenge. June 28, 2002. BBC News website. bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2072684.stm
  • 40 Kramer, Matt. The unnaturalness of natural. Wine Spectator, 2013, 38(8), p. 30.
  • 41 http://www.camy.org/press/PDFs-In%20the%20News/CAMY-marketwatch.pdf NEED REFERENCE
  • 42 RU21 website. ru21.com21.com
  • 43 It’s official: The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption are confirmed. AIM Digest, 2004, 13(3), 1, 10 & 12.
  • 44 Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. 4th ed. London: DK, 2005, p. 59.
  • 45 Charters, Stephen. Wine and Society. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006, p. 288; Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris. California vs. France and the historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. New York: Scribner, 2005, p. p. 282.
  • 46 Lukacs, Paul. Inventing Wine. New Yorlk: W.W. Norton and Co., 2012., p. 288.
  • 47 Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute. Grahholm v. Heald. law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1116.ZS.html
  • 48 Calif. step closer to AWOL ban. AIM Digest, 2005, 14(4), 4.
  • 49 Minimum Legal Drinking Ages Around the World. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/LegalDrinkingAge.html
  • 50 Barr, A. Drink. London: Bantam, 1995, p. 268.
  • 51 US Congress passes underage-drinking prevention bill. AIM Digest, 2006, 19(3), 8.
  • 52 Rising alcohol levels in wine - is this a cause for concern? AIM Digest, 2006, 18(4), 1.
  • 53 Murphy, Linda. California wines beat the French - again. Even after 30 years of aging, state’s Cabernets still tops. San Francisco Chronicle, May 25, 2006; The Re-Judgment of Paris Results in California Landslide. Vinography website. vinography.com/archives/2006/05/the_rejudgment_of_paris_result.html
  • 54 Sayre, Carolyn. Absinthe is back! Time, Nov 29, 2007; Absinthe Laws. Absinthe101.com website absinthe101.com/laws.html
  • 55 AIM Digest, 2008, 22(2), 2.
  • 56 MADD Virgin Drinks Coming to a Store Near You. September 18, 2009. NBC40.net. nbc40.net/story/11157903/madd-virgin-drinks-coming-to-a-store-near-you
  • 57 Mediterranean Diet. UNESCO website unesco.org/culture/ich/RL/00394
  • 58 WeightWatchers website at weightwatchers.com; Baxter, Stewart. Weight Watchers OK alcohol... Indiana Beverage Journal, 2010, 67(2), 6-7.
  • 59 AIM Digest, 2011, 30(2), p. 2?
  • 60 Nachel. Marty. Beer for Dummies. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, 1996, p. 283.
  • 61 Young, Andy. The top 10- biggest beer brands. The Drinks Business, June 25, 2013. The Drinks Business website. thedrinksbusiness.com/2013/06/the-worlds-top-10-beer-brands/
  • 62 Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of DARE. http://www.alcoholfacts.org/DARE.html
  • 63 Ahlers, Mike M. Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths. Cable News Network. cnn.com/2013/05/14/us/ntsb-blood-alcohol
  • 64 Legalize Cachaca website. legalizecachaca.com; Simonson, Robert. Cachaca: beyone a one-note samba. New York Times, July 10, 2012; Morgan, Brian. Brazilian Cachaca. TED Case Study #721. American.edu website. 1.american.edu/TED/cachaca.htm#id
  • 65 James, Gary. Candy Lightner Interview. Famous Interviews. http://www.famousinterview.ca/interviews/candy_lightner.htm

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