It is official, after a sixth attempt Gerard Basset, the founder of Hotel du Vin chain, has won the coveted title of Best Sommelier of the world in Santiago de Chile on 16th April 2010 representing Britain.
Gerard, already a Europe Best Sommelier, beat the French candidate David Biraud and the Swiss Paolo Basso in the final after a very dramatic day where blind tastings and role play have been testing the nerves and knowledge of the three candidates. Gerard who lives and works in Hampshire, where he runs his new venture Terravina, started his work as a sommelier in 1980 and has been very successful ever since. In 1989 he became a Master Sommelier and started his competitor life. A year later he was awarded 3rd best European sommelier to become Best Sommelier of Europe in 1996.
It is in 1992 that he became the second best sommelier of the World, then again in 2004 and 2007, year in which he obtained a Wine MBA. Gérard Basset is Member of the Academy of Food and Wine Service and the Worldwide Vice President of the Court of Master Sommeliers.
During that time Gerard worked at renowned Chewton Glenn where he met Robin Hutson, General Manager, with whom he founded the very successful hotel chain Hotel du Vin which he sold a few years ago to go on his own venture Terravina.
His nickname “the Sommeliers’ God Father” fits him very well as most of his protégés are now part of the Elite of the trade. Xavier Rousset and Matthieu Longuere, both Masters of Wine and Best Sommeliers of UK, are amongst his pupils but there is also Eric Zwiebel MS who has competed against his mentor at the Best Sommelier of the World competition in 2007 representing France.
We are congratulating Gerard on his achievement and can truly learn the lesson from him: “If you believe in something, work hard on it and DON’T GIVE UP!”
Bravo Monsieur Basset.