Gérard Basset MW MS MBA
Born in Saint-Etienne, France, in 1957, Gérard Basset was the first person to become Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, and hold an MBA at the same time.
He was named Best Sommelier in Europe, and has been voted runner-up in the Best Sommelier of the World competition three times. He was awarded the Bollinger Cup for Best Taster in his MW examination in 1998, and he jointly founded the Hotel du Vin chain in 1994, and then opened Hotel TerraVina in August 2007.
He says that at the moment, he is in his ‘Rhône phase’, and enjoys Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as Barossa Shiraz.
Gérard’s food-and-wine matching tips
- Grilled food with young/fresh wines work well.
- Slow-cooked food with mature wines often gives the best combination.
- When thinking of a combination, choose an angle. For instance, either play with the structure of the food and the texture of the wine (as in a rich dish with a tannic wine to cut through it), or try to marry the flavours of the food with the aromas of the wine (the iodine character of fish with the limey flavours of an Australian riesling, for example). If you can achieve both, it usually gives the most memorable results.
- With your best wines, use great ingredients but not with a complicated recipe, as too many flavours will detract from each other.