Gérard judging at the Decanter World Wine Awards
Terribly sad news that Gérard Basset MW, MS (born 1957) died last week. He had been fighting oesophagus cancer since the autumn of 2017. A year later it was revealed that Gérard was terminally ill.
Despite his numerous achievements both as a sommelier, writer and business man – Meilleur Sommelier du Monde 2010, Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, hôtelier – a founder of Hôtel du Vin and the Terra Vina in the New Forest near to Southampton – there was no side to Gérard. He was a great guy, modest and always friendly.
Through the Decanter World Wine Awards I have particularly fond memories of Gérard and a real appreciation of his qualities. He became one of the Co-Chairs of the awards in 2017. Part of his role was to offer advice to a tasting panel when deadlocked over what to award a particular wine. Occasionally my Loire panel would be unable to agree over a wine. It was never acrimonious but we felt the need for another opinion. Gérard was always great. Despite his accomplishments he was treating us entirely as equals and not seeking to impose his judgment on us – leaving us to make the final decision but offering always very useful and helpful guidance.
Our sincere condolences to Nina and family.
Despite his illness Gérard worked on his memoirs – Tasting Victory, whose publication is now being crowdfunded here.
The good die young!
Gérard @DWWA April 2017