The winner of the Ambassador of the Year nomination will receive a book by Gerard Basset


Tasting Victory: The Life and Wines of the World’s Favorite Sommelier is an impressive story of Gerard Basset’s life and career. It is a reflection of the victory over the challenges that stand in the way of a person and clearly proves that everyone is able to reach the top in any, even the most difficult, circumstances. The main thing is desire and perseverance.

This year, the winner of the Wine Travel Awards in the Ambassador of the Year category, who will be traditionally awarded the Gerard Basset Prize with the support of the Gérard Basset Foundation, will receive a book of memoirs by this incredible man. This copy will be signed by the wife of the famous sommelier — Mrs. Nina Basset, who is a member of the Wine Travel Awards jury, Vice President of the Academy of Sommeliers of Great Britain, ASI General Secretary and co-founder and chairman of the Gérard Basset Foundation. She commented on this joint decision with the award’s organizing committee: This is a great read that I hope will inspire others to believe that everyone can achieve anything they set their mind to. I am very impressed by the idea that the book Gerard finished in the last days of his life will be awarded to the Ambassador of the Year winner as a symbol of continuing his work. I am sure that Gerard’s memoirs will become a source of inspiration for a person who is in love with the world of wine and is ready to devote his life to this topic.

Nina Basset

Nina Basset told the story of writing the book, in which Gerard Basset generously shares the wealth of his knowledge and talks about the extraordinary efforts he made to achieve his phenomenal success. This invaluable work of education and inspiration was written in the last months of the master’s life. And perhaps at the cost of his last days.

When Gerard was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, all his travels had to be canceled, and he tried to fill his time in other ways. I suggested that he write a book about his life because I thought it would help inspire others, says Nina Basset, Gerard left school as a child without a diploma, but through self-training, further education, mentoring, hard work, determination and passion for wine, he became one of the most famous sommeliers in the world. The book is his story of a life well-lived, describing his training methods, preparation for numerous exams, and ultimately the ASI World Champion Sommelier competition in 2010, where Gerard won the title of World Champion. This is not only a book about life in the wine and hospitality industry, it is an inspiring story about a man who never gave up his belief that you can achieve anything you want with hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck. Gerard is a great storyteller, and many people tell me they read the book in one sitting because they found it hard to put it down. Gerard wrote the book chapter by chapter, on days when he was feeling more or less well during a terrible period of grueling surgeries and chemotherapy. He even left the hospital to be able to write the last chapter. Even though he knew that leaving the hospital would mean hastening the end… But he was desperate to be home to complete this final part. He died 10 days after leaving the hospital. But then he finished the last lines. And later I wrote the last words to the book, which was very difficult for me. But I had to do it for our dear Gerard.

Gérard Basset Foundation

David Williams, author of World Of Fine Wine, who personally knew Gerard Basset, wrote enthusiastically about Tasting Victory and the author of the book: Reading Tasting Victory was an extremely emotional experience. It is a memoir of the best professional of his generation in winemaking. Gerard was the first and only person to receive several of the highest qualifications at once — World Champion Sommelier, OBE, MW and MS. But it is his persistent pursuit of the highest degree of professionalism that is the essence of this book — for it was only on his seventh attempt that Gerard Basset, who was already 53 at the time, was finally recognized as the best sommelier in the world and the best sommelier of his generation.

Tasting Victory: The Life and Wines of the World’s Favorite Sommelier is a story that will impress anyone interested in wine, the restaurant industry, and success stories.

Gerard Basset tells about a difficult childhood and his first disappointing attempts to find his place in the world. But determination and hard work led him to success. He describes his unrivaled career, which includes founding innovative hotels, a successful wine business, and obtaining unique qualifications that have made him a legend in the world of wine.

Gérard Basset’s memoir is not only a story about one man’s journey to victory, but also an example and inspiration for everyone who dreams of reaching the top in their industry.

The Wine Travel Awards Ambassador of the Year prize, supported by the Gérard Basset Foundation, will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony to be held at the London Wine Fair on May 21, 2024 from 10.30 to 12.30.