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Gerard’s memorial at Winchester Cathedral

A beautiful day for a goodbye

Les membres de l'ASI

The weather had forecast rain for June 14, but the sun shone on the beautiful city of Winchester steeped in history and especially in great memories for the Basset family.
It was in Winchester that Gérard created the very first Hotel du Vin.
It was in Winchester that Gerard married Nina.
It was in Winchester that Romané, his son, was baptized.
It thus was in Winchester that his family and friends from around the world paid him a last tribute.
The Cathedral was crowded. More than 600 people had come to show Nina and Romané, but also to all England, who had made an OBE (Officer of the British Empire), that Gerard Basset represented a lot for them.
The atmosphere of this ceremony was very sober and beautiful, punctuated by pretty passages of the Bible, classical music and testimonials of Romané evoking his “papa” (not Dad!) and of Jancis Robinson retracing the exemplary life of Gerard, Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, Best Sommelier of the World, graduate of the OIV and MBA wines and spirits of Kedge Business School of Bordeaux ... an impressive list of achievements ... An atmosphere of serenity, respect, with touches of very British humor that Gerard would surely have appreciated.
At the cocktail party that followed, at Winchester’s Guildhall, friendliness prevailed. The large family of the international sommellerie gathered to honor the memory of the most talented of the band, glass in hand. Champagne has flowed. Nina did things well. We exchanged memories, lovely memories.
And Gerard was among us. It’s certain. We all felt his presence.

Michèle Aström Chantôme