Gerard Basset MW OBE honoured with Ordre du Mérite Agricole

Drinks: Wines
Location: France
Other: Awards

Britain’s most famous – and most respected sommelier – Gerard Basset MW OBE added to his long list of honours and qualifications yesterday when he was awarded the Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French ambassador in London.

The award, second only to the Legion d’Honneur when it was created in 1883, is given to those who have positively benefited French agriculture, and marks a fitting recognition of Basset’s unstinting efforts in the world of wine over many decades.

As well as being a Master of Wine and a Master Sommelier, he also holds an MSc in wine management and has won the prestigious World’s Best Sommelier competition.

It was a ray of good news for the always-positive Basset, who has been undergoing cancer treatment for the last few months, and makes a nice addition to the OBE which he received in 2011.

‘It is always humbling to have one’s work acknowledged and I am truly honoured to receive the ‘Mérite Agricole’ today,’ said Basset. ‘Whilst I owe much of my success to my beloved, adoptive country and I am very proud to hold dual French and British nationality, I never forget that I was born and raised in France, so it is an enormous privilege to be bestowed with this commendation.’

Farr Vintners Stephen Browett, Anne Burchett of Sopexa and Edward Squires of Dedicated Wines also received the award.

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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