UK Entry Wins World Championship – Gerard Basset – The World’s Best Sommelier
We have pleasure in announcing that Gerard Basset MS, MW, one of the country’s best known Sommeliers and owner of Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire, has won the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) World’s Best Sommelier Competition, held in Chile from the 12th-15th April 2010.
Gerard Basset is now officially the best Sommelier in the world!
The competition attracted candidates from each of the ASI’s 51 member countries, and consisted of a quarter final, semi final and the final, in front of an audience with rigorous written and practical exams, including blind tastings and service role plays to test the candidates’ knowledge of wine, spirits, and other beverages and food and wine pairing, as well as their service skills to determine the winner of the competition. It is very well known that the competition is hard, intense and demands complete dedication and commitment to the industry.
French-born Basset, one of the co-founders of the successful Hotel du Vin chain has the distinction of being the only person in the world who is a Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and who has the Wine MBA. He moved to England, 27 years ago, becoming Head Sommelier at Chewton Glen, the Michelin-starred hotel in Hampshire. In 1989 he won UK Sommelier of the year. 1992 he won the Best International Sommelier for French Wines (Paris). In 1996 he won the Best Sommelier of Europe and in 1998, he qualified as a Master of Wine, having already qualified as a Master Sommelier in 1989.
Gerard says “I am absolutely delighted and completely overwhelmed to have won. It’s been a long hard road with many many hours of training for the competition – but to be crowned the World Champion is beyond words”.
Gerard goes on to say “I would like to thank my wife, Nina and my son Romane for their love, support and sometimes extreme patience with me! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. Thanks also goes to my family, friends, colleagues, well wishers and other competitors for their good luck and support – its just incredible.”
Nina says “I am so proud of my husband and his achievements – his dedication to wine and the hospitality industry is incredible. This is such a massive achievement for him”.
Nick Scade, Director of The Academy of Food and Wine, the UK branch of ASI, says “We are so pleased that Gerard has won this very prestigious accolade – he is a true ambassador for the UK and his achievements are exemplary. We recognise how hard he’s worked to win this championship, and he really does deserve to win. Congratulations Gerard!”
So what’s next for Gerard?…he adds, “Its straight back into work for me, there’s so much I want to achieve with this award including working with young people and developing their wine knowledge and skills, as well as continuing to work within the wine industry as a whole to further promote the extraordinary wines of the world.”
If you would be like to interview Gerard, have access to photographs or to visit him at Hotel TerraVina please contact Darren Northeast (working on behalf of Hotel TerraVina) on 01202 676762 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Hotel TerraVina please visit www.hotelterravina.co.uk or call 02380 293 784 of follow them on Facebook, Twitter and their weekly Blog.