Breed was a real character. He just had this way with words. I loved it. I remember we were at this blind tasting and Breed wanted to know what the bottle under the foil was. A lot of people would have said something like, Excuse me, would you mind unwrapping that bottle? But not Breed. Breed was like "Man, tear down the doors!!" Tear down the doors. That was so great. Being at blind tastings with Breed was funny anyway, because he wouldn't say Old World or New World. Not Breed. He wouldn't say that. For Breed, it was always East Side or West Side. He'd be like, "I'm not sure exactly what this is, but it is def representing East Side. Is anybody else getting East Side from this?"
I remember there was the time some guy said that a bottle was corked and Breed just wasn't having it. He was right in there, telling this guy that there was no future in his frontin'. It was pretty amazing, really. I remember how, for him, the wine cellar was "the neighborhood". I remember he used to be like, "Levi, let's go roll through the neighborhood". That was funny. Breed was really one of a kind. There was the time that he wanted to get "Graacher Himmelreich Grosses Gewachs" tattooed on his forearm, but the guy at the shop said that he couldn't do it, because there just wasn't enough room, and Breed was like, well, that wine tastes like flint, why don't you just put flint on there, then? And that was what happened. I thought that that was pretty cool.
I have had some tough bosses in my career. If you worked for Ja Rule, for example, you always had to be on time. No excuses. But the toughest guy I ever worked for was definitely DMX. DMX was hardcore about wine. He used to call vineyard sites "his dogs", and he would throw these crazy hard pop quizzes for all the sommeliers where you had to tell him where "his dogs were". You would have to sit there and be like, well, Clos de Tart is a dog in the southern part of Morey-Saint-Denis, and it shares a border with Bonnes-Mares. But DMX would still want more details. He'd be like, every dog has a bone, where is the bone? And you would be like, do you mean the northern border with Clos des Lambrays? Those quizzes were tough, man. Seriously. Like the worst thing that could happen in your day was DMX saying "where my dogs at?" DMX was a tough boss. You had to respect him, though. He loved his dogs.