Tobias Beard



Saturday night fighting in Fluvanna

Saturday night fighting in Fluvanna

To knock a man out takes a combination of strength, precision and luck. You have to hit him in the right place, and if you do he’ll go down, no matter who he is. Getting knocked out doesn’t hurt. “It’s a good feeling, actually,” boxing great Floyd Patterson once said. “It’s not painful, just a […]

Waiting for Gendrot

Waiting for Gendrot

The wine world is small, the local wine world doubly so. On February 20, in response to a recent column, I received several e-mails from “a group of wine enthusiasts” chastising me for ignoring the talents of Charles Gendrot

A new book explores bubbly's beginnings

A new book explores bubbly's beginnings

Champagne is the most brand conscious of wines, unapologetically purchased for its price and status: Moet, Cristal, Krug, names mentioned by rappers and Wall Street traders alike, although perhaps less so by the latter these days. Chief among those in terms of brand recognition is the highway-safety-orange label of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Ubiquitous in wine […]

Re-examining the AVAs of Virginia

Have you ever noticed the word “Monticello” printed on the label of your favorite Virginia wine? “Christ,” you probably thought, “is there anything around here that man hasn’t gotten his clutches on?” Well, no, but the use of “Monticello” on the label does not mean that the wine is made at TJ’s house. Monticello is […]

Precision dance in the age of Obama

Precision dance in the age of Obama

It starts like this: One set of feet goes Stomp. Stomp Stomp, stomp, clap. Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, stomp. Pause. And then many feet-many hands 10 times faster, stomp stompstomp stomp clap, clapclapclap, clapstompclapstomp. The Best of Both Worlds Dance and Step Competition MLK Performing Arts Center Saturday, January 24 The Best of Both Worlds […]

Taking a master class in how wine is put together

The art of making wine is in many ways the art of blending. For most of history, the world’s classic wines have been created by blending different grapes to create a unified whole, named not for those grapes, but for the places they were from: Champagne, Chianti, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Bordeaux. Even in Burgundy, famously obsessed with […]

No kangaroos in Austria

No kangaroos in Austria

When you are in the wine trade, most people assume you just get paid to drink, and they are essentially right. Sometimes, however, you are not only paid to drink, but to eat as well, and to do it in a far off land. In that case, those people are not only right, but also […]

Petting a bald cat

Petting a bald cat

Holidays, overindulgence, New Year’s resolutions—some of you may have woken up January 1 and immediately pledged to stop drinking so much or to stop drinking at all.

Less is more

Less is more

It recently occurred to me while tasting wine at a local vineyard that Virginia wineries have a very different business philosophy than their European cousins.

Kiddie porn mushrooms online

Internet Crimes Against Children task forces work on both child enticement cases and child pornography cases, and the latter are becoming increasingly important. Albemarle Detective Chuck Marshall tells me when we begin to talk about ICAC that “at any given time there could be 40, 50, 60 people just in Charlottesville based on their IP […]

Like a virgin?

Like a virgin?

READ MORE: Kiddie porn mushrooms online Task force also charged with tackling perverse images—tens of thousands at a time I log in as VA_Girl, a 13-year-old looking to meet people online. I’m a chat room virgin, and there are tons to choose from, with generic names like “Teen Spot” and “TeenChatNow.” I pick one at […]

Virginia's so-called Champagne

Virginia's so-called Champagne

Americans just don’t understand sparkling wine. First there’s the annoying habit of always calling it “Champagne,” and second the unforgivable sin of only drinking it on special occasions. Sparkling wine should be drunk anytime or all the time. It’s perfect with food, it’s beautiful in the glass, and it automatically raises your status by, like, […]