OnMilwaukee.com recommends, Jan. 5, 2013
Find fine wine at a fair price, "sweet" reggae classics and more in this week's edition of OnMilwaukee.com Recommends.
Ritual Pinot Noir 2011 – I'm no wine snob, but I admit I'm loyal and I have my favorite wines and regions. That surely means I miss out on some great wines. Like this pinot noir from the Casablanca Valley in Chile. I brought this to a family Christmas dinner and when we popped it open the vibrancy leaped out of the bottle. Like my beloved barbera, this has soft tannins and great acidity. Cherry and raspberry waft out of the glass and a smooth, rich mouth feel end in a long, satisfying finish. This is a fruity yet elegant wine that's great for any occasion. You can find it from around $16 to about $20. I think it's one of the best wines I've tasted all year. – Bobby Tanzilo
Cards Against Humanity – Billed as "a party game for horrible people," Cards Against Humanity is subversive fun for anyone looking to solidify their spot on the VIP list in hell. It's a simple game of "find the best fit" fill-in-the-blank cards with risque questions and downright offensively hilarious results. Potential answers are as innocent as "Puppies!" and as shocking as, well, I really can't repeat any of them here. But, they're definitely worth discovering firsthand. Buy it in stores or online, or download it for free on the game's website. Fair warning: This is not for family game night with the kiddos. – Renee Lorenz
Rust-Oleum's chalkboard paint – I have marveled at this "paint" that creates a highly functional chalkboard on any surface for years. Multiple mom friends painted walls in their kids' playrooms with it. Then, on a recent trip to New Orleans, I saw it painted on a vintage window hanging on the wall and used to convey the daily specials. I finally went out and bought a 30-ounce jar for myself. It cost under $15 at Home Depot and after painting a 6-foot-by-4-foot rectangle in my home office, I only used about half the can. It works incredibly well and has a more appealing aesthetic to me than a dry-erase board. I'm really looking forward to sending the kids out onto the deck to clap erasers. – Molly Snyder
Barrington Levy – Reggae Anthology: Sweet Reggae Music (17 North Parade/VP Records) – A double-disc set packed full of dancehall shots from one of the kings of the dance, Barrington Levy. Levy made his first record as a kid and by the last year of the '70s, he'd become a full-fledged dancehall singer extraordinaire and even as others have come and gone, he's never left the scene. The first disc is exclusive tunes made for producer Junjo Lawes, from early hits like "Collie Weed" and "Looking My Love." Disc two has a bit more Junjo stuff, but also tunes recorded for Joe Gibbs, Jah Guidance, Jah Screw and others. Here's where the more famous tunes, like "Under Mi Sensi" and "Here I Come" reside. With a voice firmly in the youthful style of Horace Andy, Levy has had a big hand in creating the soundtrack of the dancehall for three decades. These two discs – and the accompanying illustrated booklet – remind us why. – Bobby Tanzilo
Packers vs. Vikings Wild Card game – If you don't have a ticket to get in to Lambeau Field tonight to see the NFC Wild Card showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, I recommend staying in to watch the prime time broadcast on NBC at 7 p.m. These teams met just six days ago and this is their third meeting in just over a month, so it should be hard fought – on and off the field. The Packers decided to suspend beer sales at the start of the third quarter rather than the end of it due to a bunch of fights that resulted in some arrests the last time these two teams met in Wisconsin. It's going to be cold Saturday night, so stay in and watch some football. – Jim Owczarski
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