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2412, 2021

Wine Women - Erica Timmerman, pt. 2

Continuing our holiday entertaining theme, part two of our show with Erica Timmerman focuses on two appetizers and how well they pair with each of the sparkling wines Erica shares. (For a bit of background, listen to part one of the show where Erica shared an artichoke dip recipe here.)

First up is a delicious salmon “salad” appetizer. Tune in to hear Erica’s comments about how well salmon pairs with various sparkling wines – especially with brut rosés. One of her go-to ingredients for pairing with sparkling wines is salmon, and we couldn’t agree more. The recipe (below) she shared was handed down from the Russian aristocracy and is, in fact, at least one hundred years old. We also noted this dish goes great with still rosés and other high acid white wines.


By Anya von Bremzen
Serves: 4 or more

4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1.5 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 medium boiled, cooked, peeled, diced new potatoes
8 oz. cold smoked salmon, diced
1 to 1.5 Tbsp. diced red onion
1 to 1.5 Tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1.5 Tbsp. minced fresh dill


Gently toss the ingredients together.  Add enough dressing to evenly coat the salad being careful not to over mix.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Serve with lettuce cups (which we didn’t have during the show, so we went without).

Lastly, Erica wanted to compare the relatively young sparklers from the first show, Val de Mer Brut Non-Dose and Domaine Carneros 2017 Brut Rose, with the to-die for Domaine Carneros Le Reve 2009 Blanc de Blanc. Creamy, lemon-y, with loads of bread dough notes integrated fully into the flavor profile, Erica brought out her big guns dip to pair with this decade-plus vintage bottle: a delicate and elegant caviar dip, that hit just the right notes with the wine.


By Ina Garten
Makes approx. 1 pint

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons freshly minced dill, plus sprigs for garnish

1 scallion, minced (white and green parts)

1 tablespoon milk, half-and-half, or cream

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

100 grams good salmon roe

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese until smooth. With the mixer on medium speed, add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, scallion, milk, salt, and pepper. With a rubber spatula, fold in 3/4 of the salmon roe. Spoon the dip into a bowl and garnish with the remaining salmon roe and sprigs of fresh dill.

Serve with chips, toasts, or crackers.


Erica used whipped cream cheese and creme fraiche instead of the sour cream.  She also usually leaves out the milk.  Chives can be substituted for the green onion.  And she added some grated lemon peel.

What a way to finish the year! We can’t thank Erica enough for her extensive food and wine pairing tips and bringing so many wonderful wines and appetizers to sample them with. Listen in to hear everyone’s reactions to which wines paired best with each dish and try them at home for your celebrations. Cheers!

1712, 2021

Wine Women - Erica Timmerman, pt. 1

We’re winding up the year and the season with two shows featuring guest Erica Timmerman. This is a bit of a departure for WWRH as Erica doesn’t work in the wine or hospitality industries, but you’d never know it from her deep knowledge of wine and food pairing, along with her myriad tips for entertaining and making guests feel great.

She says she buys a lot of wine because she loves to share it with friends. (We should all have such friends!) When asked what her go-to wines are for celebrating the season and entertaining with friends, she didn’t hesitate: sparkling wine. Thus, she brought not one, but three sparklers to compare, along with some delicious appetizers to pair with them.

Sitting in for M.I.A. cohosts, Misty Roudebush and Lisa Adams Walter, were avid wine drinkers, Kim Martin and Marlys White, both of whom enthusiastically gave everything a try and had plenty of smart questions for our guest.

When asked what her go-to food pairing is with sparkling wine, Erica didn’t hesitate. It was a fast “Dungeness Crab!” reply. Lucky for us in the San Francisco Bay Area that season is just getting underway… Tune in to hear all the crab dishes Erica prepares during the season.

Kicking off the festivities, Erica offered up the Domaine Carneros 2017 Brut Rose, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Flavor notes included fruity, citrus, grapefruit, strawberries, sweetness and a bit of dough. It was delicious all around.

We wondered how Erica learned food and wine pairing, to which she replied it was just innate because she’s Italian. Lol. Works for us! She did cite that she likes to go daring with her food and wine pairings. And often she will taste a wine and immediately begin thinking about what food dishes it would pair with best. (It helps that she’s a chef!)

We got the benefit of her expertise when she shared a Hot Artichoke Dip appetizer with everyone:


8 oz block cream cheese (reg)

1 Cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise (reg)

1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

4 oz can Mild Diced Green Chiles

12 oz Jar (or 2 - 7.5 oz jars) of Marinated Artichoke Hearts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Drain artichoke hearts, leaving a tiny bit of marinade behind.  Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Pour into baking dish and bake on middle rack for approximately 30 minutes, until bubbling and starting to turn golden brown. Remove and serve with tortilla chips, baguette, crackers, whatever you like…

When tasted with the second wine, Val de Mer Brut Non-Dose, it proved an excellent match. (You’ll have to listen in to hear Erica’s explanation of why the artichoke dip was better paired with the Val de Mer than the Brut Rose.) This Chardonnay-based crémant was bright, refreshing, with a completely different flavor profile, featuring green apples, a touch of caramel and far more dough or brioche notes than the previous wine.

Paired with the artichoke dip, and what Erica referred to as the “secret ingredient,” the Val de Mer showed why it’s a go-to sparkling wine for any season. (Oh, and that “secret ingredient”? Listen carefully to what Erica thought made the dip stand out above the usual, mayo-based hot artichoke dips!

As for the other wines and appetizers? Stay tuned for part 2 of our show with Erica next week, when we’ll taste and pair more sparkling wine and deeee-licious appetizers you can try at home.