Gerard Basset
Gerard Basset
Gerard Basset co-founded the renowned Hotel du Vin Hotel & Bistro Group, which now has some 7 hotels situated throughout the UK. Built on a reputation for excellence in service standards, the hotels were celebrated not just for the superior quality of their setting but also the exquisite food and wine choices served within the bistros. The birth of this great concept was helped by the experience within the industry that Gerard gained. He was previously Head Sommelier at Chewton Glen where he won the UK Wine Waiter of the Year Award in 1992. In 2004 he competed in the World Sommelier Championships in Athens, gaining the silver medal.

Having provided a top class service himself, both directly and through his company, Gerard is well placed in his role with The Academy of Food & Wine Service. He is a member of the Academy’s board and is responsible for their competition training and selection for front-of-house candidates. He is also Chairman of the Academy of Food & Wine Service Wine Committee.

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As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.

 

 

Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!

 

Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 

 

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