The moving ceremony was a gathering of the international wine trade, in memory and celebration of Gerard’s extraordinary life and achievements.
Six hundred people filled the Cathedral in the city where Gerard and Robin Hutson created their first Hotel du Vin. Family, friends and colleagues came from near and far to pay their respects to Gerard who died aged 61 in January of cancer of the oesophagus.
The service was led by Canon Roland Riem, Vice Dean and Canon Chancellor of Winchester Cathedral, who praised Gerard for a ‘life well lived’. Jancis Robinson spoke on behalf of the wine trade and paid a deeply touching tribute to Gerard. Romané Basset also gave an immensely impressive and eloquent address about his father.
The reception, held at the Guildhall in Winchester also featured a video made by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale.
Ahead of the service, Nina and Romané Basset thanked all those who had sent ‘kind messages and words ahead of tomorrow’s memorial. We hope it will be a day full of happy moments and a suitable tribute to Gerard, his specialness and his wonderful life.’ It was all of that – and more.
Gerard Basset was the first and only individual to have held the Master of Wine qualification simultaneously with the Master Sommelier, MBA Wine Business and MSc from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. In April 2010 he won the World Sommelier Championship, cementing his extraordinary domination of the industry. This was further augmented on receiving the OBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to hospitality. In 2013, he was named the Decanter Man of the Year.
‘Tasting Victory,’ Gerard’s memoirs, which he wrote whilst he was undergoing chemotherapy in 2018, will be published next year. To obtain a copy click here