It is with great sadness that the Irish Guild of Sommeliers have learned of the death of Gerard Basset. May He Rest In Peace.

Deepest sympathy to Gerard’s family from the President Oliver Murtagh and members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers

Arguably one of the greatest wine professionals of his generation, Gerard Basset is the Sommelier‘s Sommelier; he is a former World Champion Sommelier and the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and MBA Wine honours.

Parallel to this has been Gerard’s business success, first with his co-founding the hugely successful Hotel du Vin Group and latterly with his award winning, New Forest boutique wine hotel, Hotel TerraVina. As a business figure, Gerard has been responsible for inspiring and mentoring a generation of young sommeliers, and his innovative approach to training has led many to competition and business success in their own right.

In June 2011 Gerard was appointed OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire – acknowledging his extraordinary contribution to the British hospitality industry and the crowning glory of a remarkable career that has seen him become one of the most credible, approachable and respected figures of the wine world.

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Santiago, Chile 2010 

Back in Santiago the candidates then sat a full-day examination which comprised three written papers covering all aspects of beverages and cigars – ranging from the wines of the world to spirits, liqueurs, beers, non alcoholic drinks including teas and coffees. This was followed by a blind tasting of two wines, questions on the marriage of food and wine and a practical test. This was followed by the semi finals and the finals. For the final competition the candidates assembled before an audience of 1,000 guests and three competitors were selected to compete in the final competition for the title of “The World’s Best Sommelier”. Over more than three hours of competition the candidates were tested in the following categories: blind tasting of spirits and liqueurs, the correction of a wine list and the service of wine to guests in a restaurant, the service of champagne and an aperitif (cocktail), among other practical tests. Andrew O’ Gorman Irish Guild of Sommeliers was selected as one of the judges for both the semi finals and the finals.

After a very short wait as the judges deliberated, Gerard Basset representing the United Kingdom was declared the winner with Paolo Basso representing Switzerland, 2nd place, and David Biraud representing France in 3rd place.