stylish The Best Sommelier in the World

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Summer Newsletter 2010 - Introduction

Gerard Basset MS, MW, one of the country’s best known Sommeliers and co-owner of Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire won the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) World’s Best Sommelier Competition, held in Chile from the 12th-15th April 2010.

I make no apologies for including this link about the news of Gerard’s fantastic win in the introduction to the summer newsletter. Many of you will be aware that in April we went en famille to Santiago, Chile, to support Gerard in his long held dream of winning the ASI World Sommelier Title - this was to be his 6th time as a competitor at the competition, which takes place every three years, although Gerard has not managed to compete every time as in 1995 we had just opened Hotel du Vin and in 1998 he was finishing his Master of Wine studies and exam and so on both occasions he was unable to go to the competition as time did not allow. Previously he had been awarded silver three times- thus he was one of the top favourites and this time he didn’t disappoint.

Gerard is now officially the Best Sommelier in the World!

Just to give you a bit of background information on the event; the competition attracted candidates from each of the ASI’s 51 member countries, from around the world and consisted of a quarter final, semi final and the final, which is held in front of an audience with rigorous written and practical exams, including blind tastings and service role plays to test the candidates’ knowledge of wine, spirits, and other beverages and food and wine pairing, as well as their service skills to determine the winner of the competition. The competition is hard, intense and demands complete dedication and commitment.

Here at TerraVina we are all immensely proud of Gerard and all that he has achieved as he is now the only person in the WORLD to have achieved three International Gold Medals; European Sommelier of the Year, International Sommelier for French Wines and now Best Sommelier in the World, as well as Master Sommelier, Master of Wine and Wine MBA. Thank you to all the team for their enormous support throughout the long months of preparation and to all those guests, colleagues and friends who not only wished Gerard luck but have sent e mails, letters, good wishes and congratulations- thank you one and all.

Now we are home Gerard has been busy filming a documentary for Japanese TV, (the equivalent of the BBC in Japan) and he has been inundated with offers to travel to Asia, Brazil and around the world to be a keynote speaker for sommelier conventions and seminars and to help train young sommeliers- he is thrilled at the prospect of sharing his experiences and is also starting to write a book- as am I, so now it’s a race to see who in the Basset household finishes writing first- Watch this space!

For anyone wanting to hear more about our adventures in Chile and when we were stranded in Madrid on the way home, due to the volcanic ash situation, please read our hotel blog - we update the blog every Wednesday so why not follow us and hear all of our news and updates? Enjoy reading our newsletter and we hope to welcome you to TerraVina very soon

Best wishes,


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