Get the latest hospitality news and inspiration straight to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Gérard Basset,The World’s Best Sommelier

Gérard Basset,The World’s Best Sommelier

Ask anybody in hospitality who they think of upon hearing the word “wine” and the answer will be unanimous: Gérard Basset .

Basset, the co-founder of Hotel du Vin and now co-owner, with wife, Nina, of Hotel Terravina in the New Forest, is the only person in the world to hold the combined titles of Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, Wine MBA and, as of April 2010, World’s Best Sommelier.

Basset’s victory in the World’s Best Sommelier competition came at the sixth time of asking – and followed three runners-up prizes. Upon finally scooping the top prize, Basset admitted it was “the hardest thing I have ever done”.

French-born Basset came to England in 1984 to watch his football team – St Etienne – play Liverpool. He fell in love with Merseyside, decided to stay and got a job first as a dishwasher then as a waiter.

Frustrated by not being able to become a sommelier, Basset returned to France and took a chef’s course at the Unifort adult education college in Beaujolais. He then cooked at restaurants and chain hotels in Lyon and Marseille. This knowledge of the kitchen was invaluable experience.

In 1988, he came back to England, but this time to join renowned country house hotel,Chewton Glen in New Milton, Hampshire as a sommelier, quickly rising to head sommelier.

At Chewton Glen, Basset met Robin Hutson and the pair went on to launch Hotel du Vin in Winchester in 1994. The boutique chain grew to six hotels before selling to Malmaison owner MWB Group for £66.4m in October 2004.

Basset – who made £2.4m from the sale – took some time out from the hospitality business, but returned in 2008 to open Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest near Southampton with wife Nina (who he also met at Chewton Glen).

Basset serves as the worldwide vice president at the Court of Master Sommeliers and is director of the Academy of Food and Wine Service.

On this dedicated page we round up all the news, analysis, profiles and video interviews with Gerard Basset.


Gerard Basset named the World’s Best Sommelier >>

Leading hoteliers join row over Pre-Budget Report >>

House wine should be good value during credit crunch, warns AFW >>

Fire scare at Hotel du Vin co-founder’s latest venture >>

Hotel du Vin co-founder Gerard Basset buys Hampshire hotel for £1.2m >>

Hotel du Vin sold for £66m to Malmaison owner >>

Wine master classes

How to improve your wine sales >>

Building a better wine list >>

Make your wine list easy to use >>


Gerard Basset on how to become a sommelier >>

Gerard and Nina Basset open latest venture, Hotel Terravina >>

Hotel TerraVina, Southampton – The List >>

The man with du Vin >>


Wine masterclass with Gerard Basset and Gearoid Devaney >>

Terravina on the web

Official website >>

Twitter >>

Blog >>

Start the discussion

Sign in to comment or register new account

Start the working day with

The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign up now for:

  • The latest exclusives from across the industry
  • Innovations, new openings, business news and practical advice
  • The latest product innovations and supplier offers
Sign up for free