Wine Bar 101: Notes from the Other Side of the Counter Erin McGrath November 9, 2009 FCG, Food & Conversation, The Wine World, Wine Life 11 Comments "California makes the worst wine in the world," said Grandiose Statement Guy, as he reached for a tasting glass of a red blend I thought he might enjoy. "I'll take a glass of this one! You know my palate well already." I sure do, I thought, as I poured him the requested glass of a Santa Barbara wine. Sigh. There are at least two hundred wine bars in Los Angeles. As one goes out of business, three more pop up - each with something different to offer. As a wine bartender, I'm privy to "behind the counter" info that will make picking your next favorite watering (wine-ering?) hole a piece of cake - and how to make the most of your experience, regardless of your wine knowledge level.