Gerard Basset, one of the world's most accomplished sommeliers, has been awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Gerard Basset winning the World’s Best Sommelier Award
Basset joins Andre Simon, the late Harry Waugh, Jancis Robinson and other wine luminaries as a holder of the much-coveted civilian award.
The Order of the British Empire was established in 1917, and ranks second to the CBE, Commander of the British Empire, and above the MBE, Member of the British Empire.
Basset is considered to be at the height of his powers as a sommelier. Among numerous accolades he won the World’s Best Sommelier Competition in Santiago, Chile last year.
He is the only individual ever to have completed the triple qualifications of Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, and MBA (Wine), and he has won almost every major sommelier award in the world.
He has trained and mentored a generation of young sommeliers through his former business, Hotel du Vin and through his current hotel, the boutique TerraVina in the New Forest.
In 2010 Basset was appointed chairman of the Regional France panel at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
On being awarded the OBE he said, ‘This is a great honour for me. To have my achievements recognised in this way gives me enormous pride. I am indebted to many within the industry for their support.’
Elsewhere in the catering industry pastry chef Claire Clark was awarded the MBE.
Clark is a highly-respected patissiere. She has worked as chef Thomas Keller’s head pastry chef in the French Laundry in Napa, California, was part of the launch team for the Wolseley in London in 2003, and most recently ran a pop-up tea restaurant at London’s Harvey Nichols.
And Mike Roberts of award-winning English estate Ridgeview, has been awarded the MBE for services to the English wine industry, in his position as chairman of English Wine Producers.
Written by Adam Lechmere