Erica is a lover of all things healthy, beautiful, and wine-related. She’s a 40-year-old mom to three kids and wife to a physician. A nurse of 12 years, she was recently spurred by her love of food and wine to pursue a career in the wine industry and runs the website Mind Body Vine.

How did you start Mind Body Vine?

It evolved naturally from my interests in wine, photography, and health. After I stopped nursing to raise my three kids, I took up photography as a hobby and then it became a part-time business. My husband and I have had a deep love for wine ever since we met and married in San Francisco. I lived in California for 10 years, and I actually wanted to be a winemaker, but my husband’s job brought us back to the South in 2013, and winemaking is a little harder to do down here.

What’s your goal or what do you hope to accomplish with it?

My goal is to educate people about wine and food and to explore and share new experiences while I follow my passions. I’m using it as something to show people what’s out there. I like to discover and talk about wine, and food and wine are so intimately related. I’m a level 1 introductory sommelier, and I’d like to get to be a level 2 certified sommelier. My blog partly details my journey of getting there.

What’s your philosophy on food?

I look for places that have fresh, local ingredients. I love all foods, but I do try to find foods that are local because the flavors tend to be much more vibrant. I think chefs who use local ingredients are really passionate about their food.

What do you hope to do once you receive your sommelier certification?

I want to travel and teach or possibly get into distribution while I’m teaching about wine. I would love to be able to work with a winery somewhere else, maybe in Spain or Portugal. I really just would like to educate others and keep on learning about wine.

What are some of your favorite local restaurants?

Memphis has a great burgeoning food scene with the Andrew Michael restaurants: Ecco, Tsunami, and other awesome places. Every month, it seems like something new is popping up. The new place Elwood’s Shells is so cool and laid back and has fresh ingredients. Acre, Bari, and Alchemy are great, and Catherine & Mary’s is probably my favorite.

What are some of your favorite food experiences?

I’m originally from Alabama, and I love authentic Southern food, which you can find a lot of here in Memphis. But my best ever food experience ever was at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, and it changed the way I thought about food. Next would be the French Laundry and Le Bernardin. They really woke me up to all sorts of inspiring new flavors and food ideas.