Pairings from a Pro

IMG_05492020 – not just an address (2020 Ionosphere Street, Longmont), not just the name of a great new establishment … but the gold standard for vinous acuity in wine pairing.  So lets dive in with some imagery:

Owner, chef, buyer, GM, and generally gregarious and sweet individual Matthew Koury is electric. 2020 volts of culinary energy scuttle around a veritable playground of prosciutto slicers, wine taps, and sharp early afternoon light. I have to say, though 2020 restaurant is not open for lunch, the 1PM sunlight plays beautifully with the polished ebony-wood high tops, granite countertops and ornate charcuterie paraphernalia.

Matt has his hands in everything (not literally so don’t send the health department!) With a service staff of 6, Matt is at the helm this afternoon with preparation as he is each and every service day. The open kitchen sits across from a sprawling L-shaped granite countertop and bar. The intimacy of my interaction with Matt is not unique from the experience of the casual (albeit chatty) early evening customer.IMG_5607

As I belly up, greeted with a warm smile, my attention falls on the gently whirring immersion cooker bellied up next to me. Though avant garde in reputation, in practice this tool is far more utilitarian. At the moment house made pâté de campagne spins in a vacuum sealed pouch. In the age of online information sharing, an immersion cooker is a ticket to culinary creativity explains Matt. From short ribs a la Momofuku ko, to 48 hour french onion soup, delicate yet pronounced flavor is the name of the game for Matt’s immersion endeavors.

IMG_0542“The food is designed to enhance the beverage experience,” stresses Matt. Small dishes are catered to the cosmopolitan cannon of wine served almost exclusively by-the-glass (and there are quite a few). Pairing of choice? Salumi Rosso (a smokey, fatty blend of slow roasted pork and pistachios) elicits bay leaf and charcoal aromas from Chateau de Breze Saumur Loire Valley Cabernet Franc. And if that comparison sounds all-too esoteric, then I encourage you to let Mr. Koury guide you through the perilous endeavor of food and wine pairing. As a CIA alumni and an 18 year staple in the Chicago fine dining scene, Matt is a seasoned and eminently approachable veteran of food and wine pairing.

This understated guidance is among the finest offerings available at 2020. If you are new to the food-wine flavor game, do yourself the favor of picking this man’s brain. Furthermore, as a fine-wine distributing professional, I have to give kudos for Matt for dealing with the little guys.

IMG_0534Colorado has a unique liquor-licensing system that prohibits chain liquor retail. In practice, this allows smaller distributors to crack a monopoly held by national distributors; it affords retailers and customers access to (what I would argue is) a less monotone portfolio of wines (and colleagues for that matter). Do yourself the favor of attending their upcoming Argentina feature with the wonderful Wine Cru and Tenacity Wine Shop, or any of their numerous wine-centric events. See for yourself!

 

 

Joe Meilen

About Joe Meilen

Joe is a transient Boulder-ite. A student of viticulture and enology at Cornell University in New York, he spends summers and the occasional year off living, eating, drinking, and generally causing mischief in the Boulder community. He has worked in wine production, restaurant wine service, and wine and spirit retail. His services have been employed at wineries from Paso Robles to Gaillac France and he is fluent in French as well as quasi-poetic cynicism (also perhaps narcissism, after all he wrote this whole bio in the third person.) Currently he works for a Wine and Spirits shop in Boulder county educating local enthusiasts on the large world of wine and the booming craft beer and spirit bounty in our backyard.

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