General Manager and Wine Director
The American Restaurant
Wine Crush. Swirl, sip, linger.
Bottle of Wine
Jamie Jamison leans over a freshly uncorked bottle of wine from one of the most ballyhooed and well-curated restaurant cellars in Kansas City, gleaming glass in hand. His expression is intent, thoughtful, contemplating the touch of oak and the lush fruitiness of the glass’s pale-colored liquid content. The young couple sitting at the window side table of The American Restaurant in Kansas City has requested Jamison’s legendary—at least in these parts—ability to demystify the fine art of pairing an accessible bottle of world-class wine with celebrated regional cuisine.
Breed of Sommelier
A new breed of sommelier, Jamison is approachable, affable, creative, ready to take patrons of his Mobile Travel Guide Four Star/AAA Four Diamond restaurant on a heady adventure. Jamison’s well-traveled, evolved and educated palate for sniffing out the best of the best from vineyards across the globe—including emerging wineries and unheralded bottles from marquee producers—complements sublime dishes from the verdant imagination of James Beard award-winning Executive Chef Debbie Gold, a diminutive powerhouse of culinary magic.
Advanced Sommelier Club
A member of the world’s rare and prestigious advanced sommelier club, Jamison’s quiet expertise has given this Heartland food-centric city cause to sit up, enjoy and drink vintages that he pairs with Gold’s imaginative cooking.
It’s a match made in culinary heaven, and one in which The American’s guests delight.
Jamison arrived at The American in April 2006 from an idyllic ocean side setting, La Jolla’s George’s at the Cove. He was assistant general manager and wine director at the fine-dining restaurant’s multi-outlet wine program; during his tenure he developed and maintained an award-winning list featuring more than 450 wines.
Hotel Jerome in Aspen
Prior to his California experience, Jamison spent two years in the Rockies at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen where he was director of restaurant operations and hotel sommelier for a massive restaurant program, including a 500-label Wine Spectator-lauded list.
The Plaza in New York City
In 1997, Jamison launched a three-year stint as director of beverage at one of the country’s most iconic hotels—The Plaza in New York City. It was here that, at the helm of an annual beverage operation—a position coveted by many in the industry—that Jamison’s talent and passion for beer, wine and spirits caught the attention of wine professionals, connoisseurs and newcomers. His signature philosophy of educating, suggesting and introducing to guests and staff a bottle of wine—quite often an unexpected selection—to elevate the dining experience was applauded.
1,000-Label Wine List
Jamison has reinvented the face of The American Restaurant. The 250-seat, fine-dining institution—owned by the iconic Hall family—has been named by The Robb Report and Wine Spectator, in addition to Kansas City magazines, “Best Restaurant.” The American has shifted from less of a special-occasion-only reservation to an everyday-accessible, relaxed experience. The 1,000-label wine list that accounts for a $300,000 inventory has received nods from Wine Spectator. Jamison’s attention to detail—including unparalleled service, tableside wine coaching and special events featuring globe-trotting chefs and vintners—has captured the hearts of Kansas Citians and visitors who flock to The American.
Sommeliers Master Sommelier Candidate 2012
Professionally, Jamison has earned distinction in the wine world. He is a Court of Sommeliers Master Sommelier Candidate 2012 and received his Advanced Sommelier Diploma in 2010. He offers his knowledge to the revered Jefferson Cup, serving as a wine judge in this local-born competition for four years and participates as a wine judge in The American Royal, a 113-year-old Kansas City tradition. Jamison was also tapped to judge at the Missouri Wine Competition in 2008 and 2011, helping to promote wines from a region that, prior to prohibition, produced 80 percent of the wine consumed in the United States.
When Jamison walks the floor of The American’s dining room, chatting with guests, presenting bottles, pouring wine and swirling, sipping and lingering, his enjoyment is obvious. It’s a sommelier’s passion, unplugged.