<?xml version="1.0"?>\n<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fce-Gerard_Basset_MW_MS.jpg"><h2>Gerard Basset MW MS.jpg<\/h2>Gerard Basset MS MW qualified as a chef and sommelier in his native France before moving to England in the mid-1980s where he embarked on a career as a sommelier. He has been named Best Sommelier in the UK several times, as well as Best International Sommelier for French Wines in 1992 and Best Sommelier of Europe in 1996; in April 2010 Gerard realised his long-held dream of becoming the Best Sommelier in the World and was also awarded the Catey Special Award. In 2010 and 2011 the IWC and then Harpers made him Personality of the Year. 2011 also saw Gerard named Industry Legend by Imbibe Magazine and receive an OBE awarded by The Princess Royal at Windsor Castle. Gerard is the only person in the world to be simultaneously a Master Sommelier, Master of Wine and hold a Wine MBA. Gerard also has an obvious flair for business; in 1994, he co-founded the Hotel du Vin which was sold in 2004 after having successfully opened six additional hotels. In 2007, with his wife Nina, he opened Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fcd-Gearoid_Devaney_MS.jpg"><h2>Gearoid Devaney MS.jpg<\/h2>Gearoid Devaney MS is currently working for Flint wines, an independent merchant based in London. He was voted UK Sommelier of the Year 2008, Restaurant magazine\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Sommelier of the Year 2007 and is now a Master Sommelier. He was Head Sommelier at London\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Capital Hotel and has additionally worked at London\u00e2\u0080\u0099s l'Oranger and the three-Michelin starred Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. In 2003 he assisted Tom Aikens open his signature restaurant and was part of the team instrumental in the restaurant winning a Michelin star.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fcc-Fiona_Beckett.jpg"><h2>Fiona Beckett.jpg<\/h2>Fiona Beckett is the Guardian's wine columnist and a contributing editor to Decanter. She also has her own website matchingfoodandwine.com and a number of blogs (rather too many)including thecheeselover.blogspot.com. You can find her on Twitter @winematcher.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fcb-Elizabeth_Gabay_MW.jpg"><h2>Elizabeth Gabay MW.jpg<\/h2>Elizabeth Gabay MW graduated with a history degree and, after a few years in publishing, the theatre and travelling, she settled down to concentrate on wine. Since the mid-1980s Elizabeth has specialised in the wines of south eastern France. She graduated as a Master of Wine in 1998. Until 2002 Elizabeth was an independent wine merchant, educator, consultant, corporate events host and lecturer on historic wines. She then moved to south east France where she continues teaching and writing about the wines of Provence, Hungary and northern Italy. She is currently working on her first book.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fca-Dominique_Vrigneau.jpg"><h2>Dominique Vrigneau.jpg<\/h2>Dominique Vrigneau joined Majestic on a work experience placement in 1986 after completing a five-year PhD in agriculture and oenology in France. He was soon promoted to the position of Buying Manager. He joined Thierry\u00e2\u0080\u0099s in 1991 after a chance encounter with founder Thierry Cabanne and is now Buying Director for France, Austria, Germany, Australasia and the US. Dominique is also a Chevalier de Tastevin and has judged in key international competitions for many years.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fd2-Tom_Forrest.jpg"><h2>Tom Forrest.jpg<\/h2>Tom Forrest was born in Edinburgh and fell in love with wine, especially Pinot Noir, at the age of 18 when he was given a bottle of Nuits-St-Georges by a hotel manager. Following a career in hotel management, he began teaching wine & spirits to hospitality students in 1982 and is currently the Wine and Spirits Education Manager at Vinopolis, where he has been working since 1999. Tom oversees the accredited WSET education programme and the calendar of master classes which includes the \u00e2\u0080\u0098Meet the Experts\u00e2\u0080\u0099 series where Oz Clarke regularly features. He has judged at various international wine competitions since 1997, is the author of \u00e2\u0080\u0098The Complete Wine Course\u00e2\u0080\u0099, published by Carlton Books and in 2007 he won the UK Champagne Ambassador competition and was a European finalist. Tom has appeared on TV shows including This Morning, Fake Britain and Come Date With Me as well as various local radio stations in London and the South East, including BBC Radio 4\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Today programme and the World Service.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fd3-Xavier_Rousset_MS.jpg"><h2>Xavier Rousset MS.jpg<\/h2>Xavier Rousset MS started working as Assistant Chef Sommelier at G\u00c3\u00a9rard Basset's Hotel du Vin in Bristol at the age of 20, after studying to become a sommelier in Saumur. 2002 saw Rousset\u00e2\u0080\u0099s career take off when he was promoted to Head Sommelier, won the Ruinart UK Sommelier of the Year competition as well becoming the youngest Master Sommellier in the world at the time. Two years later, Xavier was appointed as Head Sommelier at Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, a position which introduced him to Head Chef Agnar Sverrisson. In 2007, Xavier and Agnar launched Texture restaurant, which added a Michelin star to its list of awards in 2010. Their latest venture, 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen, is launching a second site in Marylebone this June.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fd4-Yves_Desmaris_MS.jpg"><h2>Yves Desmaris MS.jpg<\/h2>Yves Desmaris MS attended the Centre de Formation d\u00e2\u0080\u0099Apprentis (CFA) in Livron, France. Upon graduating in 1986, he moved to the London to work as commis sommelier at the Stafford Hotel in St James. During this time he completed the WSET Advanced Certificate & WSET Diploma. In 1992 he was awarded the title of Master Sommelier. He has been with Gary Rhodes for almost 13 years where he is Wine Buyer for UK restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Rhodes Twenty Four.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fcf-Isabelle_Legeron_MW.jpg"><h2>Isabelle Legeron MW.jpg<\/h2>Isabelle Legeron MW is the first and only French female Master of Wine. Aiming to promote transparency in the wine world and encourage people to think about what they drink, Isabelle co-founded last year\u00e2\u0080\u0099s The Natural Wine Fair in London and is holding the first RAW fair on artisan wine this May. She communicates her enthusiasm for fine, natural wine via her website and a TV series on Travel Channel, as well as contributing to Decanter. In the past year Isabelle has helped organize VinNatur\u00e2\u0080\u0099s conference, \u00e2\u0080\u0098Natural Wine: A Scientific Approach\u00e2\u0080\u0099, in Italy and consulted for both the eco-luxury Soneva resorts in the Maldives and Hibiscus, a 2* Michelin restaurant in Mayfair where she re-designed their wine list. Time Out features a wine tasting with her as one of their top \u00e2\u0080\u00981000 things to do in London\u00e2\u0080\u0099 and her list of awards includes the Villa Maria Award for Viticulture, Madame Bollinger Award for Excellence in Tasting and Wine Woman of the Year 2009.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fd0-Jean_Pierre_Rabaste.jpg"><h2>Jean-Pierre Rabaste.jpg<\/h2>Jean-Pierre Rabaste started his wine career in France before moving to London in 1996 where he worked as Sommelier for various establishments, including the Orrery, Hakkasan, Che Restaurant and Putney Bridge Restaurant. His palate has allowed him to reach the national semifinal of the Ruinart Sommelier of the Year Competition and the final of the Torres Competition. He has also received the Gosset Celebris Trophy Award for Best Champagne List of England and was nominated for the ITV Carlton Award for UK Best Wine List. Jean-Pierre is currently a Director of Top Selection, a wine merchant specialising in boutique wineries.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2012\/05\/000002fd1-Monty_Waldin.jpg"><h2>Monty Waldin.jpg<\/h2>Monty aka Mathew Waldin has worked in vineyards and wineries of all shapes and sizes in both hemispheres. A specialist writer, speaker and consultant on biodynamic wine, Monty was the subject of the first ever television series, Channel Four's Chateau Monty, which aired in 2008, to document the production of biodynamic wine from pruning to bottling.