Paris, France.

The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI, is pleased to announce the 5 finalists for the first annual Gérard Basset Lifetime Achievement Award. According to ASI Ambassador, Michéle Chantôme “this is the first award given by ASI. It was important for us to recognize Gérard Basset who has done so much for the profession and for our association. Gérard was a legend during his lifetime, admired and loved by all. His wife Nina and his son Romané, custodians of his legacy, immediately joined this project in memory of Gérard. It is important for ASI, which is an association of associations, to highlight the personalities who give a positive image of the sommelier profession, just as Gérard did, all his life.”

The selection team that narrowed the list of nominees collected from around the world included William Wouters (President, ASI), Michéle Chantôme (Ambassador, Vice President Africa & Middle East, ASI), Marcos Flores (Vice President Americas, ASI), Piotr Kamecki (Vice President Europe, ASI), Saiko Tamura-Soga (Vice President Asia & Oceania, ASI), Marc Almert (ASI Best of Sommelier of the World 2019) and Nina Basset (wife of Gérard Basset). Of the final candidates Nina Basset says “each of whom are most worthy of being selected and it is a list that Gérard would be in complete agreement with and delighted for them to have been voted for.”

The following descriptions of the top 5 finalists, identified in alphabetical order, were provided by Nina Basset.

Paul Brunet was a great friend of Gérard. Within the world of sommellerie he is respected, loved and applauded for his generosity of spirit, his passion and his guidance of young sommeliers.

Serge Dubs is a great friend of myself and Romané and was very dear to Gérard too, not just as a friend, but also as a fellow competitor and they had mutual respect and passion for all things competitive. When you think of a great sommelier and a great ambassador of sommellerie, Serge is at the top of the list.

Louis Havaux is very well respected as a mentor and an enthusiastic and very generous sponsor and benefactor to sommellerie and ASI over many years and his contribution to sommellerie should be appreciated by us all.

David Lawler is a special chap. Working so hard to ensure sommellerie in Australia and further afield is recognised and respected across the world. He is a deserved name on the Lifetime Achievement list

Veronique Rivest is loved by all she is the “Grande Dame of Sommellerie”. She has a vivacity, an infectious laugh, a winning smile, and is a passionate and enthusiastic mentor to many. She has championed women in wine and is an inspiration to many young, female sommeliers joining the profession today.

The recipient of the first annual Gérard Basset Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced on March 7 via ASI social media channels.

Sommeliers Australia is absolutely delighted that our very own David Lawler has been selected as a finalist for this very special award!
His unwavering passion for the sommelier profession in Australia is lauded by his peers and those in the hospitality industry. Although not as active in sommellerie as he once was, David’s generosity, knowledge and work acumen continue to be regarded as the benchmark for Australian sommeliers.
Australian finalist, David Lawler (l), Gérard Basset (r).