An annual travel bursary has been created in memory of the late Gerard Basset (pictured, right), available to UK-based sommeliers.
The Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship (in honour of the Hotel du Vin co-founder and former World’s Best Sommelier) will see £5,000 awarded on an annual basis to enable a sommelier to visit a winemaking country of their choice and explore its regions, winemakers and wine personalities.
The bursary is the brainchild of Nina (pictured, left) and Romané Basset, along with master sommelier Ronan Sayburn and wine journalist Tim Atkin.
Entrants will be invited to submit a written statement of up to 500 words detailing why they are applying for the scholarship, how they plan to spend the money, and how they see it benefiting their future careers.
A judging panel, including Nina, Romané, Atkin, Sayburn and master sommelier Laura Rhys will then shortlist three candidates for interview, who will be whittled down to one winner. The panel will also support the winner with contacts and suggestions.
Fifty guests will be invited to purchase a ticket to the inaugural fundraising dinner at 67 Pall Mall in London in early 2020 and to bring along a wine of their choice to share on the evening. A modest percentage of the ticket price will go towards the food, with 67 Pall Mall sponsoring the other elements of the event. The remainder of the ticket price will be put towards the bursary fund.
Nina said: “We want to ensure Gerard’s legacy lives on. Education, mentoring and inspiring young sommeliers was something very dear to him and he always maintained that travelling to the wine regions of the world broadened his mind, his knowledge and wine experiences better than any other form of study ever could. It feels that this scholarship is definitely something he would have approved of wholeheartedly.”