This the memoir of Gerard Basset, OBE, the greatest wine professional of his generation. A school dropout, Gerard had to come to England to discover his passion.
He threw himself into learning everything he could about wine, immersing himself in the world of Michelin star restaurants and beginning the steep climb to the top of the career ladder. Tasting Victory charts his business successes: co-founding and selling the innovative Hotel du Vin chain and founding, with his wife Nina, the much-loved Hotel TerraVina.
It recounts in detail just how he managed to earn his unprecedented sequence of qualifications; Gerard is the first and only individual to hold the famously difficult Master of Wine qualification simultaneously with that of Master Sommelier and MBA in Wine Business.
But it is his pursuit of the most important award of all that forms the core of this book - how, at his seventh attempt, and after a training regime that would shame most Olympic athletes, the fifty-three-year-old Gerard Basset was finally crowned the Best Sommelier of the World, and acknowledged as the greatest sommelier of his generation.
Gerard's memoir is not only the story of how a champion is made, but also a record of how fine dining and hospitality changed in England, going from stale and unexciting to the world-leading sector it is today.
Above all, it's a book about succeeding against great odds: in typical fashion it was when he was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus that Gerard responded by deciding to write Tasting Victory, which he completed shortly before his death in January 2019.