Allegrini 2018

Gerard Basset: the strengths of Italian wine around the world are its varietal wealth and uniquenes

Gerard Basset firma la botte di Amarone con Sandro Boscaini

The sommelier, Gerard Basset, has received all and every imaginable title and accolade: Master Sommelier since 1989, Master of Wine since 1998, and between these two awards, also the title of Best Sommelier in Europe in 1996, while in 2010 he also received the award of Best Sommelier in the World (and now also the “Premio Masi” 2018 by the historical wine producer in Valpolicella). He is, therefore, a true point of reference in the wine world, thanks as well to a career built on the axis France (where he was born) - England (where he grew up professionally). This is the reason why his point of view, as WineNews reported it, is anything but trivial. We can start from his point of view on the role of Italian wine, which is “fundamental on the international wine scene, especially because it boasts a myriad of different styles, which enrich the offer. There are, as a matter of fact, many iconic wine denominations in Italy, and this helps to create that diversity which is the most important feature of Italian wine productions”. Varietal wealth, which is often considered a complication, is anything but limiting, according to Basset, because “people today are more and more curious, and they are continually wanting to try new varieties and new styles. The situation is very different from twenty years ago, when people were content with a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. Therefore, this gives Italy a great advantage”.
Curiosity is one of the trends of these times, which is even more true for “enthusiasts and collectors, who, while mainly loving the great classics, from the best Barolo to the great Tuscans and the top of the Veneto wines, are still curious and want to discover and learn about new varieties; that is, from Sardinia, Puglia or Sicily”. The dynamic of enhancing regional productions no longer concerns just Italy and Europe, but also the New World, because “as a matter of fact”, Basset continued, “there are more and more producers in the world who care about the quality of their wines, starting from the developing the most suitable regions, in Australia, or in the USA and in Chile. Both small and large producers are trying to offer characteristic wines, for the benefit of consumers, who are living in a real golden age of wine”. He lights up, of course, about Italy: “What I like most about Italian wine is the uniqueness of the productions. They do not resemble any other wines”, concluded Basset, “nothing in the world is similar to Barolo, or Amarone, and that is what I like, together with quality”.

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