Gerard Basset named Decanter Man of the Year 2013

Described as ‘genuinely humble’ and ‘an absolute gem of a man’, Decanter Man of the Year 2013 Gerard Basset is widely credited with transforming the perception of sommeliers around the world.

Despite the many letters after his name – MS, MW, MBA, OBE – and his status as World’s Best Sommelier, Basset’s peers are as keen to talk of his personal attributes as to enumerate his many achievements in the latest issue of Decanter.

Gerrard Basset

The owner of Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest and co-founder of the Hotel du Vin business has spent as much time mentoring young sommeliers and restaurant professionals as he has building successful businesses.

‘What I love about Gerard is that he demonstrates the same humility and curiosity today as he did when I first met him when he was a junior wine waiter at Chewton Glen in the early 1980s,’ says Jancis Robinson MW OBE.

Meanwhile, Etienne Hugel of Hugel et Fils describes Basset as ‘an absolute gem of a man whose heart is bigger than the sum of all his impressive titles’.

Of his role as a mentor to young sommeliers, Basset tells Brian St-Pierre in Decanter: ‘You have to give back as much as you have taken, after all.

‘I totally believe in education, for my team and my proteges of course, but also continually for myself.’

Those proteges are a roll call of sommelier excellence, including Xavier Rousset MS (co-owner of Texture), Matthieu Longuere MS (La Trompette), Ronan Sayburn MS (The Dorchester) and Eric Zweibel (Summer Lodge).

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