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Meet The Sommelier, Ericka Briscoe

Ericka’s passion for hospitality and cuisine started at a young age in her family’s kitchen. It was then that she learned the importance of sharing great food at the table. Her grandmother taught her the traditional family recipes from Southwest Louisiana such as smothered chicken with rice and gravy, shrimp creole, Andouille gumbo and crawfish étouffée. She learned quickly as her family’s home became known for its revolving door of guests who would drop in for a taste of whatever was on the stove. In her family, sharing food with others was more than a hobby; it was a true passion.

She held on to this idea even as she ventured into a career in the finance industry. While living in Houston, Texas and immersing herself in the financial world, Ericka was able to experience wines offered by fine dining restaurants in addition to the broader interpretations of local cuisines. Her career afforded her the opportunity to live in Italy and Spain where she learned, loved and embraced the variety of food and wine cultures.

With all of these amazing experiences, Ericka’s decision to move into the food and beverage industry was as seamless as it was organic. She decided that she was finished with finance and took a job at The Rustic Cellar, a wine bar in Boca Raton, Florida. Being surrounded by a vast array of wines from all over the world sparked her interest in exposing others to these exceptional and uncommon wines; it was all about making wine more approachable for everyone. She worked in several farm-to-table restaurants in South Florida as well as The Hamptons and Manhattan, New York learning more about wine, wine service, and food and wine pairing.

After completing Sommelier Levels I and II from the highly regarded Court of Master Sommeliers, Ericka decided to move to Healdsburg, California to continue her career and pursue more intensive wine studies. She opened and managed Partake by K-J, Kendall Jackson’s wine and culinary experience at the table, where her passion for approachable wine and food pairings flourished.

In August of 2013, Ericka joined Foley Family Wines as the Chalk Hill Estate Maître d. There, she works closely with Estate Executive Chef Ryan Freebern. Together, they create memorable pairings using fresh ingredients sourced directly from the Chalk Hill Estate garden. She also became the Foley Food & Wine Society Sommelier, acting as an educator for the brands within the Society.

When she isn’t working with wine and food, Ericka enjoys taking road trips along the Pacific coast, hosting dinner parties, ballroom dancing and Argentine Tango.