Gerard Basset has won my own Man of the Year award for the past 24 years, which is the (long) time I have known and loved him for… however, he has now officially been recognized with one of the world’s most prestigious wine accolades as Decanter magazine names him its 2013 Man of the Year and we all here at TerraVina could not be prouder.
This latest honour caps an extraordinary career for Gerard, much of which has been documented in recent years in this very blog. Of course I am his biggest and loudest cheerleader, and whilst he won’t thank me for writing this, (but I will anyway!), he is considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest authorities on wine and Gerard is credited with changing perceptions of wine service worldwide, whilst training and mentoring a generation of young sommeliers who he is immensely proud of….. to us all here at TerraVina he is of course all that and so much more- he is simply Gerard, very special, very modest and very much loved and respected by all those people he works with and who know him well.
In the thirtieth year of the award, Gerard joins a flawless list of recipients who include Laura and Corinne Mentzelopoulos of Chateau Margaux; Robert Mondavi; Georg Riedel; Jancis Robinson MW OBE; Miguel A. Torres; Jean-Michel Cazes; Anthony Barton of Chateau Léoville-Barton; Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti; and Paul Symington of Symington Family Estates, Portugal.
When he was recently asked to comment on the news of this latest award, Gerard said, “I am humbled and overwhelmed to have been selected by my peers for this incredible honour. This is a great compliment and to have my achievements recognised in this way gives me enormous pride. Never would I expect my name to be in such exalted company with some of the truly great figures within this global industry. From winning the World Championship to receiving the OBE and now this – the last two years have been such an incredible experience and I thank the many individuals who have supported me throughout.”
Personally, I would just like to add that he is and always will be extra special and this award is truly the most amazing climax to what has been a fantastic tenure as the current World Sommelier Champion. At the end of the month we travel to Japan for Gerard to be involved in judging this years ASI World Sommelier Championship and it is then that he will pass on the crown to the next, newly crowned and then 3 years tenure World Champion, but he will always remain a true Champion in the eyes of so many people- Very, very well done Gerard.
Till next week