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Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has appointed one of the most esteemed professionals in wine, Gerard Basset OBE, as the group's first wine ambassador. The UK-based French native won the 2010 Best Sommelier in the World title and is the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and MBA Wine honours. He will work with Yang Lu, Shangri-La's corporate wine director, to enhance the group's wine programme and nurture its talented hotel sommeliers.
In his role as Shangri-La wine ambassador, Basset will attend the group's second Wine Summit in July 2014 to pace sommeliers through a two-day seminar encompassing theory, practical skills and blind tasting and be among the judges at Shangri-La’s Best Sommelier Competition. In the same month, wine connoisseurs and amateurs will join Basset and the group’s top sommeliers to discover and compare wine styles and test their palates in a wine-pairing dinner at Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing.
Shangri-La has focused on expanding and enhancing its wine offerings, particularly in mainland China, where wine appreciation and consumption continues to rise. In 2013, Shangri-La launched a wine programme to enhance its wine-by-the-glass and cellar offerings in its China and Hong Kong hotels.