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In Marketplace Commentary

Bobby thinks this Vera Wang Holiday Peace bouquet would make a pretty great gift.

OnMilwaukee.com recommends, Dec. 14, 2013


It's a new list of OnMilwaukee recommendations so nice, one author decided to write twice. Also, there's banana bread beer. You read that correctly.

Vera Wang Collection Holiday Peace Bouquet – Vera Wang: not just for wearable fashion anymore! The Vera Wang Holiday Collection, which you can order online via FTD (prices begin at $49.99) and have delivered pretty much anywhere in the world, has a handful of gorgeous bouquets for that special someone on your list. You know, the someone that adores beautiful, scent-producing floral gifts.

I got the red rose-laden Holiday Peace bouquet, and it was a big hit at home, thanks in large part to the alluring aroma of the varieties of evergreens included in this low-height, but big wow-factor arrangement. Tired of giving useless gadgets, tired old pajamas and unimaginative gift cards? Why not give one of these stunners instead? You can see the full range of options at ftd.com/vera-wang-ctg/product-verawang Bobby Tanzilo

Hanes website – If there is one thing in the world I hate paying significant money for, it's underwear. I mean, it's kind of like paying for fillings at the dentist – nobody notices, but it makes you feel better. So when I discovered Michael Jordan, I also discovered my troubles were over. Jordan is the spokesman for Hanes underwear. I have worn Hanes underwear. Match made in heaven, right?

Well, wait until you discover the hanes.com website. The prices are amazing, for underwear but also for T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants and all kinds of stuff. A three-pack of underwear on this site is less expensive than the same thing at Walmart, of all things. I checked. Trust me on this, the website is good enough for Jordan, and it's good enough for me and you. – Dave Begel

"The Wolf of Wall Street" by Jordan Belfort – Two weeks back, while my laptop was potentially broken, getting poked and prodded at the local Apple Store (broken laptops, as it turns out, are not recommended), I meandered through a Barnes and Noble, and started flipping through "The Wolf of Wall Street." I was already very excited about the Martin Scorsese movie based on the memoir, coming out on Christmas Day (it'll be a white Christmas alright, just a different kind of white powder), but I figured I'd skim a couple of pages to see what the source material was like.

Well, a simple skim turned into "I NEED TO KEEP READING!" within about three pages. I've purchased the book and have used any and all of my free time to power through reading it. Belfort's crazy, vulgar, profane, manic tell-all memoir about his days as a '90s stock market multi-millionaire is a fascinating guilty pleasure of a read. He's certainly not a good guy, but he's a good storyteller, telling tales of Quaalude-fueled shenanigans and unrepentant debauchery.

I can't wait to see what Scorsese does with it. From the early buzz, it's one of the year's best (it at least wins the award apparently for Best Drug Scene, which I'm pretty sure is an Oscar category ... right?), and considering how incredible 2013 has been for movies, that's a bold statement.

Cultivate 2009 Dream Walking and The Feast wines – These wines are the work of Ali and Charles Banks (Screaming Eagle, Sandhi, Wind Gap and Mayacamas), who serve up a chardonnay, with a dash of semillon and sauvignon blanc, sourced from vineyards in Santa Rita Hills, Sonoma Valley and Napa County, and a red blend that's more than three quarters Santa Lucia Highland merlot, with a bit of Napa cab sauv, malbec and syrah.

The former is a medium-bodied white with a pineappley brightness and the latter, as the name implies, is robust and full-bodied with dark berry notes and a long, slow finish that's warmly satisfying. Best of all, Cultivate donates 10% of every dollar to non-profits, and according to its website, it's donated nearly a half-million dollars to date in nearly 50 communities. It's the wine that keeps on giving. – Bobby Tanzilo

Wells' Banana Bread Beer – Recently, I tried a tap of this British ale at Frank's Power Plant, 2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. As much as I love banana bread and beer, I could not fathom a mash-up of the two, so, out of sheer curiosity and with very low-to-no expectations, I had to sample one (YOLO and all that). It was one of the weirdest-tasting ales I've ever tried – it really does taste like both banana bread and beer – and although it's in my "one and done" category along with pumpkin beer and coffee stout, I had no problem finishing it. It was less sweet that I expected, and more crisp, which I appreciated. Plus, drinking it made me think of home-baked goods and monkeys. Both good things in my book.Molly Snyder

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