Gerard Basset’s memoirs to be published

The long-awaited memoirs of legendary sommelier and wine professional Gerard Basset will launch later this month after hundreds of wine trade professionals raised money to see them published.

Gerard Basset, one of the most decorated wine professionals of his time, died in January 2019 after a long battle with cancer.

In the course of his career he added the letters OBE, MS, MW, MBA, OIV, and MSc to his title, and remains the first, and only, individual to hold the Master of Wine qualification simultaneously with the Master Sommelier and MBA Wine Business qualifications.

Basset wrote his memoirs while undergoing treatment, detailing “the life and wines of the world’s favourite sommelier.” The book recounts his journey from a small industrial town outside of Lyon and a difficult childhood, resolving to move to the UK after watching his football team, Saint-Etienne, lose to Liverpool in the European Cup in 1977, climbing up the hospitality career ladder in France and the UK, and finally receiving an OBE from Princess Anne at Windsor Castle in 2011.

After the news broke of his death, a group of wine professionals launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the memoirs to be published. Hundreds pledged their support for the project. Well-known writers such as Jancis Robinson, Sarah Jane Evans and Tim Atkin, former Berry Bros chief executive Dan Jago, and acclaimed sommeliers Ferran Centelles and Pascaline Lepeltier all contributed to the fundraising effort.

Called Tasting Victory, the book also charts Basset’s business successes: co-founding and selling the innovative Hotel du Vin chain and founding, with his wife Nina, the much-loved Hotel TerraVina in 2007, a venture which, though started well, was not withouts challenges.

As Basset writes, “For all the planning we did before we bought the hotel, the one business scenario we didn’t envisage was the likelihood of a worldwide recession.”

Taking in his early days as a kitchen porter and the 2008 economic crash, the memoirs not only tell Basset’s, but also shed light on how much the UK’s fine dining sector has changed throughout the years.

Tasting Victory will be available in hardback for £25 from 19 March.

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Furious diner left stunned by £37,000 bill at Salt Bae's new London restaurant

A shocked customer bit off more than they could chew at Salt Bae's new London outpost, Nusr-Et, after they were left with an eye-watering £37,000 bill. 

Adam Handling opens Ugly Butterfly bar in Cornwall

Following in the footsteps of his flagship location in London – Eve Bar – Adam Handling has ventured south to Cornwall, serving drinks with a sustainable focus and creating classic cocktails using waste from the restaurant.

Beer prices set to jump by 30p a pint as costs increase

Many pubs may be forced to put up the price of pints by 30p due to rising costs in the hospitality sector.

Bartender quits in epic style after boss told him not to get drunk on his day off

A bartender has taken to social media to share his savage response after his now-former boss messaged him at 2:59am asking him to work the following day.

Table Talk: John Williams MBE

The South Shields-born executive chef of The Ritz London on searching for missing partridges during a royal banquet, being inspired by The Galloping Gourmet, and why foie gras and Yquem is the perfect match.

Most Recent Stories

Furious diner left stunned by £37,000 bill at Salt Bae's new London restaurant

A shocked customer bit off more than they could chew at Salt Bae's new London outpost, Nusr-Et, after they were left with an eye-watering £37,000 bill. 

Adam Handling opens Ugly Butterfly bar in Cornwall

Following in the footsteps of his flagship location in London – Eve Bar – Adam Handling has ventured south to Cornwall, serving drinks with a sustainable focus and creating classic cocktails using waste from the restaurant.

Beer prices set to jump by 30p a pint as costs increase

Many pubs may be forced to put up the price of pints by 30p due to rising costs in the hospitality sector.

Bartender quits in epic style after boss told him not to get drunk on his day off

A bartender has taken to social media to share his savage response after his now-former boss messaged him at 2:59am asking him to work the following day.

Table Talk: John Williams MBE

The South Shields-born executive chef of The Ritz London on searching for missing partridges during a royal banquet, being inspired by The Galloping Gourmet, and why foie gras and Yquem is the perfect match.