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Gerard Basset memorial plans announced

Published:  27 March, 2019

The Basset family is to hold a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MSc (OIV).

The memorial service for Gerard, who passed away on 16 January following a brave battle against cancer, will be held at 11am on Friday 14 June at Winchester Cathedral.

Members of the wine and hospitality industries have been “warmly invited to attend”, by the Basset family, who said it had chosen Winchester due to its “close personal ties” to the city, not least because it is home to the original Hotel du Vin. 

Following the service, a reception will be held at The Guildhall, Winchester.

Those intending to attend have been kindly asked to email by 30 May to give an indication of numbers.

An immense loss to the wine industry, Gerard as a man needed little by way of introduction, either in the UK or global world of wine - he 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.