In Memory of my friend and associate Gérard Basset OBE, MS, MW, Wine MBA, Oiv Msc. (1957-2019) who left us on the 16th of january 2019,
IMBA is creating a special prize dedicated to promoting excellence in wine service.
Arguably the most wine titled person ever, respected and loved by all for his kindness and generosity, Gérard was known for his unquenchable thirst for knowledge and his competitor mind.
What is lesser known though was is love for excellence, refinement and finesse in service, or in his words:
“For me, the role (of a sommelier) is, above all, to ensure that the customers have a wonderful and very memorable experience of wine and service” ref. Fine Wines
Together we shared this passion for excellence in service.
(photo of Gérard and Nina his wife after having received his OBE 06/2011)
When I met Gérard, June of 2011 in Bordeaux, it was only a few days after Gérard received his OBE.
We were both alumni of the Bordeaux Business School and we had to deliver a presentation on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Wine MBA program.
After having just met, Gérard told me: “You know Richard, obviously the title of Best Sommelier of the world is something, but I received my OBE not on a wine qualification but for services to the Hospitality industry. I am very proud of that! Like you being a butler, service delivery is very important to me and I tried to improve on it all my life”.
We bonded immediately.
The Gérard Basset Excellence in Wine Service prize
This prize will be given to a IMBA chosen one (or two) qualified competitors in the next ASI Best Sommelier of the World due in 2021 and will consist in personalised training sessions to master the finer points of elegance in wine service.
Wine service delivery is under scrutiny in the Best Sommelier of the World competition and can prove costly if not mastered properly.
Watch Gérard Basset video explaining the rules and what to expect from the Best Sommelier of the World competition
…and read what is written in this screen capture from the same video:
Now, you are invited to watch the finals of the last ASI Best Sommelier of the World Competition held in Antwerpen on March 15th 2019:
Please go to 37:00 minutes to watch, first, a < 3 minutes Hommage to Gérard Basset and then, pay attention to quality of service related issues while the competition unfold. You might be surprised…
In Vino Veritas!
Richard Sagala & Gérard Basset @ Masi Prize Ceremony, Verona 09/2018
Masi Prize Hommage to Gérard Basset film