Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Gerard Basset passes away

Published:  17 January, 2019

Harpers is saddened to hear that Gerard Basset has lost his battle with cancer and passed away on 17 January.

As a man that needed little by way of introduction, either in the UK or global world of wine, Gerard was a great inspiration and positive force for so many in the trade today.

Many of the finest sommeliers in the UK - and many other trade luminaries besides - were mentored, guided and enlightened by his incredible depth of knowledge and determined, but humble approach to spreading the gospel of wine and hospitality.

This generous approach also belied a keen business acumen, which saw Gerard ‘The Nose’ Basset become a founding partner in the ground-breaking Hotel du Vin business, before embarking on his own venture with his wife Nina, opening the wine-focused Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire.

Along the way French-born naturalised Brit Gerard picked up an impressive medley of qualifications, counting the letters MS, MW and OBE among many after his name, being the first to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, MBA Wine Business and MSc from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

Perhaps his most satisfying personal achievement, though, was winning the World Sommelier Championship in 2010, soon to be crowned by an OBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to hospitality.

Despite all these achievements, Gerard remained a sommelier at heart, with the outpouring of condolences on social media testimony to the sheer number of young and up-coming sommeliers that he mentored along the way.

The Court of Master sommeliers, of which Gerard was president for many years, summed up these sentiments, tweeting:

“Words cannot express how saddened we are to hear of the passing of our former President and friend Gerard Basset MS, MW, OBE. He has been a mentor and inspiration to so many, a shining example of courtesy, humility and professionalism that we all should aspire to.”

Gerard’s wife and business partner Nina said: “Whilst we are devastated to have to say goodbye to Gerard for the last time, we draw strength from the kind messages that we have already received from the many people whose lives he touched. He fought a brave battle against cancer and we are comforted that he died at home surrounded by his family and that he is now at peace.

“Both Romané [son] and I are profoundly grateful for the support we have received from our friends across the world, including the many in the wine and hospitality industries and to know that Gerard was so loved by all those who knew him.”

The trade too will miss this generous hearted man.

A small, private funeral will take place and later in the Spring a memorial service will be held in London, details of which will be released in due course. Messages of condolence can be sent to