Kia McInerny is an international wine and travel writer, whose articles have appeared in Decanter, Eating Los Angeles, Lexus Magazine, Montecito Journal, Silver Kris, Sommelier Journal, and other publications. Kia's enchantment with wine has taken her from Austria to Argentina and beyond. Kia has also written three novels and a collection of short stories.
Welcome to Kiawrites.com ~ A Votre Santé!

Art + Wine


Fred Brander
There's nothing pretentious about Bordeaux varietals producer Fred Brander. For our meeting at his favorite Montecito coffee spot, he arrives in a well-used white truck with an antique Spanish desk lashed to its flat-bed. . .

Montecito Journal
- Winter/Spring 2016

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A Helo Runs Through It


At 20, Steve Gamble had been cooking for three years when he developed a – small but nice – wine program at an exclusive Big Sky lodge. During visits to his aunt in Napa, he nurtured his interest in wine, and in 1999, he opened GRL . . .

Tasting Panel
- March 2015

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Day Trip to Yountville

The hamlet of Yountville is a perfect base to explore Napa Valley's attractions. Of interest to architecture buffs are recently developed state-of-the-art hostelries and dining establishments. In springtime, we traveled north to check out the latest "green" trends in Napa's design and architecture. . .

Montecito Journal
- Summer/Fall 2013

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Restaurant Spotlight — Follina, Italy

"You know of course about Cartizze," Giovanni Zanon begins, filling our flutes with what is to become our favorite aperitivo. We are deep in Prosecco country in a renovated palazzo, and about to taste award-winning frizzante from a local hillside . . .

Sommelier Journal
- Summer 2012

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Santa Barbara Wine Country

Savoring a vibrant pinot noir in a scenic barn or tin-roofed shack is one of the rural pleasures to be enjoyed in Santa Barbara’s wine country. Others include spotting hawks, and the occasional cowboy connoisseur riding up to sample the latest vintage. Recently drawn to the region are serious chefs, pairing farm-fresh ingredients with handcrafted wines in a tranquil setting.

Decanter Magazine
- California 2011

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Garbara: A Sparkling Star

Until now, a bottle of sparkling Prosecco was for casual quaffing with friends, with no more thought to its provenance than a vino tavola. That notion is changing. In northern Italy, the tiny wine zone of Valdobiaddene is becoming known for sparklers that are racy and crisp. "We make 7,000 bottles from this hill alone," Garbara’s Mirco Grotto says, of his family’s one-hectare vineyard.

The Tasting Panel
- March, 2011

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Cellar & Wine

"You’ll find some of the best cellars in Scotland," Montecito collector John Tilson says. "Very cold and dark, with high humidity to protect the corks ~ that’s why wine found in an ocean or lake sometimes has near perfect storage." For private collectors like John, innovation, drama and climate control are key to personal cellar design.

Montecito Journal
- Summer/Fall 2011

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Weekend Getaway

Minutes across the bay in Sausalito is our first Euro-style base for exploring San Francisco. Smart, urbane and comfortable, the Inn Above Tide offers mesmerizing views from each of its thirty small suites. From the hotel’s lounge, we enjoy the street scene outside, and discreetly observe the accents of other guests. Are we in a small canal-front hotel in Amsterdam ~ or off Brussels’ Grande Place?

Montecito Journal Magazine
- Spring, 2009

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Sommelier Spotlight

"I've since run across another 1945 Lafite and tasted a 1900 Margaux," Eric Maldonado of Lucky's Montecito says. "You can smell the victory in the Lafite. You can sense the exhilaration of a turning century in the Margaux."

Sommelier Journal
- 2008

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On Wine ~ Santa Barbara-Summerland's Wine Country

Urban wine tasting can be a form of discovery ~ blending new kids and established players. For those who want a wine touring experience right here in Santa Barbara, urban touring can be a special alternative.

Montecito Journal
- January 3, 2008

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Napa's New Style

Quietly and without fanfare, architect Howard Backen's "elegant barn" aesthetic is transforming the landscape of Napa Valley. With a portfolio that reads like a select wine list, from elegant wine estates to exclusive hostelries, the architect's love affair with rustic style is setting a trend.

Lexus
- 2007

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Wine Mavens of Montecito

It's tempting to regard a wine list like a racing form, relying on impulse or betting the favorites. Three Montecito sommeliers offer an engaging alternative, as they illuminate the hidden gems and hip pocket favorites on their wine lists.

Montecito Journal
- September 27, 2007

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Napa Valley Reserve ~ DIY Wine

At harvest time outside the gates of Meadowood in Napa, affluent oenophiles join farm hands in the fields. The private winemaking club called Napa Valley Reserve is the brainchild of Bill Harlan, the man whose dream to create a "first-growths vineyard" has seen his Harlan Estate Bordeaux blends fetching up to $1,500 a bottle.

Decanter Magazine
- August, 2006

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Stags Leap District: Bordeaux Pioneers

In Napa's smallest appellation ~ Stag's Leap District ~ wines were known for silky textures and gentle tannins even before Stag's Leap Cellars claimed first honors in the 1973 Paris Tasting for its 1973 Cabernet blend.

Decanter Magazine
- California 2006

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Culture in a Glass

Talking about unique ales is a favorite pastime for chef~pub-owner Sang Yoon of Father's Office in Santa Monica. This classically trained chef's interest in beer started in France. Of his more than 48 beers on the menu, Yoon trains his staff to 'pour violently!'

Eating Los Angeles
- Vol. 3, 2005

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Eataway in Santa Barbara Wine Country

Enjoying a glass of crisp and floral Sauvignon Blanc on the porch of Alma Rosa's original adobe tasting room is an incomparable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Eating Los Angeles
- Vol. 2, 2005

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Festival Time in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County's harvest festival offers a chance to click goblets with the region's most celebrated winemakers, while sampling its brightest stars. Excitement often centers on Santa Rita Hills, where sheer fruit power and concentration match wits against the finesse and elegance of such prestige vineyards as Bien Nacido, Stolpman and Dierberg.

Decanter Magazine
- January, 2004

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In the Cellar

Hollywood screenwriter James Orr talks about his passion for little known wines. "I don't like the term 'cult' wines as it implies I should be glassy eyed, kneeling before idols."

Decanter Magazine
- June, 2002

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Barge Through Burgundy

On the umbrella shaded deck of our 30-foot luxury barge we three couples, strangers until a few days ago, converse happily over Francois' wine selections, and the cuisine of his Dutch wife Noortje ~

Silver Kris
- August 1998

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Much Ado About Chianti

In search of the little known Sangiovese grape, which can miraculously transform the mundane into the magical ~

Silver Kris
- August 1997

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The Emigrant Return~Tracking Relations in County Kerry

At the ferry terminal at Kilglornin, my brother jumps down, sniffs the air. "Ah, cow dung. I love it!" We're heading to Portmagee, the tiny village where my father was born over seventy years ago, and hopes to find relations he has not seen or heard from for over six decades.

Ireland's Eye
- January, 1995

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