Jamie J Adams (no middle name, just an initial)
I was born in the universally tough vintage of 1972 in the wonderful little farming community of What Cheer, Iowa. I’m the youngest of 6 children and the only male child of Jim and Betty Adams. I graduated valedictorian in a class of 26 exceptionally bright young Tri-County Trojans. I studied history at my beloved University of Iowa and studied abroad for a summer at the University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Nigeria. I moved around the country for a bit trying to find a way to pay the rent on time and finally settled in the great city of Denver, Colorado. In between, I had jobs as a plumber, farm hand, dug ditches for a tiling company, worked in a meat packing plant, assembled fire extinguishers, managed the warehouse at an avionics company, was the assistant to the CFO at a school for at-risk youth and worked as a heavy press operator making bumpers for cars. In 2015, I married the love of my life, Mrs. Melanie Grace (Holt) Adams. We spend our free time drinking great wine, eating great food, gardening, pitching horseshoes, golfing, fishing, hiking, bicycling, motorcycling, going to see live music and generally having a ball with our friends and family.
Where have you lived?
What Cheer, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Ibadan, Nigeria; Austin, Texas; Charlottesville, Virginia; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Denver, Colorado
Learned to drive in an open field at 10 years old in my dad’s 1978 Chevy Scottsdale pickup with a “3 on the tree” transmission. Inherited my youngest sister’s 1982 Chevy Monza – bright red. Looked fast but was incredibly slow…
How did you start in the wine business?
“How do I get a job like yours?” – Wash dishes, get promoted to bus boy, get promoted to waiter, bartend a little on the side, work in a retail store as the homebrew guy, become one of the beer guys, become one of the wine guys, in the meantime get promoted to sommelier at your night job – the one you couldn’t afford to quit because being one of the wine guys at the store doesn’t pay very well, move halfway across the country because you are still young and why not, you have always loved the mountains… get job selling wine for a distributor, get noticed by a great friend and mentor (thanks Garry!) and get dream job selling wine for a national importer, get promoted 3 or 4 times, become one of the founding team members of one of the best wine importers in the USA! It’s that easy!
Best concerts of your life
Any Drive by Truckers show anywhere; The Replacements at the Fillmore; Richard Thompson live at Wolf Trap; anything at Red Rocks with Melanie (recently – Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Vampire Weekend and Belle and Sebastian); Sugar at The University of Iowa Memorial Union; Bob Mould at Liberty Lunch in Austin, TX; Elvis Costello at Live Oak Music Hall and Lounge in Austin, TX. Jon Bon Jovi at the Five Seasons Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (you always remember your first).
After tasting wine all day I want to drink a…
Beer brewed locally wherever I happen to be that day.
After staring at a computer all day I want to drink a…
I am an equal opportunity drinker but I prefer craft beer, gin and tonic, a good negroni and/or Manhattan, or whisky (preferably malty not peaty), a great dry rose (preferably from magnum – 750s go too quickly) and a Fernet Branca to wash it all down.
What puts the biggest smiles on your face?
Coming home after a long trip to my beautiful wife and our lovely home and cat Frances. Making a sale – any sale, I still get a rush each and every time! Hanging out in the back yard with my friends and family and some good slow smoked BBQ and a cold drink (see above). Jumping on my bicycle or motorcycle, feeling the wind in my face and seeing the mountains flying by.
Fantastic wine experience
First great Burgundy – 1985 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet drunk in 1999 with the Boys Night Out Club. 2005 visit to Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. Tasted the 1946 Richebourg with cellarmaster Bernard Noblet – the first vintage that his father made after returning home from the war and becoming cellarmaster at The Domaine. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it…
Last bottle of wine of wine you ever want to drink
Not sure just yet but it will be red and it will be Burgundy.
While on the wine route I love to…
Occasionally pinch myself to make sure I’m not just dreaming that I get to do this for a living!
Favorite vacation spot
The western fjords of Iceland are great but the beautiful city of Puerta Vallarta, Mexico in February is hard to beat.
Époisses de Bourgogne – in Burgundy, eaten with a good bottle of Burgundy and a warm, crusty baguette
Great food & wine pairing
Rose Champagne and a rare New York strip was pretty good the other night. Dry Riesling and raw fish. A bottle of good Barolo and homemade Ragu and tajarin pasta – preferably eaten in Barolo.
If you won the lottery…
I’d finally fix the thing that makes that rattling sound on my Nissan Murano and get a little piece of land in the Rocky Mountains with some private fishing water on it.