I can’t believe there is anyone in the wine business who knows Gerard Basset who is not thrilled by the news that he has triumphed in the World’s Best Sommelier competition.
There are very few Masters of Wine who are also Master Sommeliers, but that combination wasn’t enough for Gerard. He added a Wine MBA a few years ago and continued to plug away at the World Sommelier title. If you don’t know Gerard you might be forgiven for thinking he’s a bit obsessed about competitions and qualifications, but there’s so much more to him that that. He is the epitome of what a sommelier should be: knowledgeable, but never all-knowing; engaging without being over familiar; skilled and efficient but never brisk.
As an employer and mentor Gerard has probably had more influence than any other individual in the UK today in creating a cohort of committed, unpretentious, customer focused sommeliers, who make buying wine in their restaurants a pleasure rather than ordeal. I, for one, am raising a glass of something rather good to Gerard Basset, the World’s Best Sommelier.