There's hope for us all: The World's Best Sommelier Gerard Basset didn't set out to be an approachable, affable, informed wine expert. Though he is French, so even if he says a wine tastes of vinegar it sounds lovely.

He started at the bottom: a dishwasher in England. His French roots meant everyone thought he knew about wine so he decided to study and travel to improve his knowledge and made it his passion.

That passion led to the founding of Hotel Du Vin, but he has had some failure along the way but you clearly can't take the man away from the Food and Drink, Hotel and Leisure industry.

He name-checks Californian wine maker Robert Mondavi (his 2007 Woodbridge shiraz is on offer at Waitrose right now, and is a powerful, pleasant drink minus 25% of the price.)

Mondavi started late, aged 53, and Basset takes comfort from that. In terms of business ideas, clearly we haven't heard the last from The World's Best Sommelier.

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