Cool Contest: Are you a BACARDÍ untameable fan?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of BACARDÍ for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 
The entire world is glued to their televisions watching that incredible soccer tournament in Brazil, but wouldn't it be cool to actually be in one of the countries participating in the final game? I experienced that as a child back in 1982 when Italy was the winner. I was in Rome at the time on vacation and I experienced first hand the energy that the fans felt before, during and after that final game. I'd love to experience that again, and I'd happily give up my expensive new headphones to do it!
 
Who will make it to the final game this year? Unfortunately for me, Italy has been eliminated, but the United States and other great countries are still playing. Wouldn't it be incredible to be in a place like Argentina or Costa Rica while their team is playing for the ultimate championship?
 
Our friends at BACARDÍ are hosting an awesome contest that offers that opportunity to BACARDÍ Untameable Fans, and that can be you!. By visiting BACARDÍ's untamable fan contest site, you can Enter to Win to take a trip to one of the countries whose team is playing in the final match.  Bacardi wants to know what you would be willing to sacrifice in order to win the trip, so all you have to do is Make a Sacrifice and post a photo of the item you're willing to sacrifice (not a selfie of you with the item – just post the item!). Then see what others have been willing to sacrifice in the "sacrifice gallery."
 
When you check out the “Champion Cocktails” section on the site you'll see that Cuba Libre is the official drink of BACARDÍ Untameable fans, but you can find the recipe of your country’s drink! Keep these in mind when you have your next watch party!
 
So which country do you want to win, and which one do you want to visit during the game?
 
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Product Review: V2 Cigs Electronic Cigarettes

V2-Cigs

When I opened my Starter Kit from V2 Cigs, I wandered in wide-eyed and with no idea what to expect. While the e-cig market has recently exploded, the only prior experience I had with them was ribbing a buddy who totes his e-cig carrying case and essentials every time he leaves the house.

As a casual cigarette smoker, I never understood why a person would smoke an e-cigarette, rather than just fire up a smoke. But after using the V2, there are several obvious benefits that challenged my perception.

The first series of benefits of V2 Cigs are that they tar-free, carbon monoxide-free and ash-free.

The second set pertains to social stigma and ease of use. Nobody wants to be the “ash-hole” with cigarette holes in your clothes, getting ashes from your cigarettes all over the place. And if you want to smoke in public, you don’t want to be judged or blow smoke all over your friends in a public setting.

With V2 Cigs, there is no odor that lingers, thanks to the incredible vapor production. Additionally, there are no nasty cigarette butts to dispose of, no danger of starting a fire and you don’t have to carry a lighter to smoke.

Here’s how V2 Cigs work: The main body of the V2 electronic cigarette is a smooth-looking 4.2 lithium-ion battery. Located at the tip of the battery is a series of five LED nodes that light up when you inhale. The V2 disposable atomized cartridges store the flavor and liquid nicotine solution, and screw directly into the V2 battery.

The cartridges come in five nicotine strengths: 2.4%, 1.8%, 1.2%, 0.6% and zero. Each flavor cartridges are designed to be equivalent to one pack of 20 conventional cigarettes, and provide up to 250 mouthfuls of vapor. There are six flavors to choose from: V2 Red, Sahara, Congress, Menthol, Peppermint and Mint Tea.

5pk_Menthol

As you smoke, you can gauge how much battery life your V2 has left thanks to the LED nodes, which light up with ever puff. The V2 Cig Charger plugs into computers via the USB adapter, which can also be plugged into a regular wall adapter.

How does smoking with a V2 Cig compare to a tobacco cigarette? Surprisingly, it’s a smoother incarnation of an actual cigarette. There is no residual odor due to the vapors, which makes a bigger difference than I anticipated. You don’t have to plan your wardrobe or smoking times around being the “smoker guy” in office who smells like smoke, cologne or a mix of both.

I tried the nicotine strength of 2.4% in both the V2 Red and Menthol flavors and was amazed at the taste and the sensation of smoking. Upon exhale, it really tastes and feels like an actual cigarette, without the mess.

The cartridges retail for around two dollars a piece, and considering you get roughly 20 cigarettes worth of vapor in each, it’s cheaper than a pack of cigarettes. The V2 Kits range in price from $34.95 to $149.95 based on accessories and the products you select.

V2 Cigs are more economical, less messy and easier to use than a traditional cigarette. Each order includes a 30-day money back guarantee and free shipping on domestic orders.

For ordering information, check out the V2 website here, or reach out to V2 on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Also, enter for your chance to win a V2 Cigs e-cigarette starter kit today!

(You must be of legal smoking age to buy and/or use any V2 Cigs product.)

  

Picture of the Day: Brazilian model Jessica Canizales gets playful

The World Cup is in full swing, so it’s naturally a great time to feature Brazilian beauty Jessica Canizales. Here she’s showing off her sexy legs and pretty feet in a playful pose on the bed. Her entire pictorial is stunning so you should check it out along with the new bikini video we posted on her page.

Brazilian model Jessica Canizales gets playful

  

Ironstone Vineyards Has Something for Every Taste Bud

The Kautz family has been farming grapes in California for more than 65 years. With more than 5,000 acres under vine, they’re one of the largest growers in the state. In addition to selling fruit, for more than 25 of those years they have also been making their own wine. Ironstone Vineyards is located in the Sierra Foothills. They farm their property sustainably as shepherds of the land they inhabit. Their portfolio features a wide range of wines, many available nationally, as well as a few limited releases found in their tasting room. Here’s a look at four of my favorites among their current offerings.

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Ironstone Vineyards 2012 Ironstone Reserve Chardonnay – The fruit for this wine came from Sierra Foothills vineyards that have been in the family for four generations. This offering is 100 percent Chardonnay. The fruit was hand-selected and gently pressed. Barrel aging occurred entirely in French oak; bottle aging followed prior to release. About 1,000 cases of this wine were produced, and it has a suggested retail price of $19.99. Bright apple, white fig and gentle crème brulee aromas are all part of the nose of this Chardonnay. The palate is studded with Asian pear and a potpourri of different apple characteristics. Reminders of Challah bread and pie crust lead the above average finish, which also shows off wisps of cinnamon, butter and rugelach spices.

Ironstone Vineyards 2012 Old Vines Zinfandel – All of the fruit for this wine came from Mokelumne River, a sub-appellation of Lodi. In addition to Zinfandel (92 percent), a small amount of Petite Sirah (8 percent) was blended in. Barrel aging took place over 6 months in entirely French oak. About 15,000 cases of this Zinfandel were produced, and it has a suggested retail price of $11.99. The boisterous nose of this Zinfandel is led by violet, plum and red raspberry aromas. The aromas are so welcoming they practically demand you take a sip. When you do, you’ll find red and black raspberry, which is a just a wee bit of a jam element. Blackberry and blueberry flavors are present, along with black pepper and clove spices. All of these flavors continue through the finish which has reasonable length. This is a crowd-pleasing wine that goes down easy. You could pair this wine with a lot of full-flavored foods such as BBQ, but for me this is a perfect Tuesday-night-with-pizza wine.

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Ironstone Vineyards 2012 Petite Sirah – The fruit for this wine was sourced in the same sub-appellation that the above Zinfandel came from. After fermentation the wine was aged for 2 months in new French oak. About 5,000 cases of this wine were produced, and it has a suggested retail price of $11.99. The moment you pour this wine it has that beautiful deep purple hue that more than any other varietal brings to mind grape juice. Deep, concentrated dark fruit aromas are joined by vanilla and a hint of bay leaf. Lots of dark and brooding flavors are in play throughout the densely flavored palate; plum, blueberry and blackberry are prominent. White pepper, cardamom and minerals are all in evidence on the solid finish. Medium tannins give easily with some air. Decanting this wine for 30 minutes really allows it to open up. This is a big mouthful of delicious flavor for less than $12.

Ironstone Vineyards 2011 Obsession Red – The fruit for this wine was sourced in both the Sierra Foothills and Lodi, California. This blend is comprised of Merlot (50 percent), Zinfandel (40 percent), and Petite Sirah (10 percent). After fermentation the wine was aged in French oak for 3 months prior to bottling. About 2,500 cases of this release were produced, and it has a suggested retail price of $14.99. Plum, blueberry and plum pudding spice elements are all present on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with black cherry elements leading a veritable boatload of sweet fruit flavors. Espresso, chocolate dipped cherries and copious spices are all present on the finish. This trio of grapes comes together to form a wine with sweet, dark fruit and good structure. BBQ season is coming, and you can pair this with anything that comes off your grill.

This quartet offers a small window into the array of offerings Ironstone produces. Their wines are quite fairly priced for the quality in their respective categories. The Chardonnay is a tremendous value. The bottom line is that if you wanted to buy a Napa Valley Chardonnay of that quality and depth, you would most often need to spend $40 to $50. That makes the Ironstone Reserve Chardonnay a very smart buy for fans of that grape. Many of their wines are available on shelves all over the U.S., so check them out; it’s likely to lead to a tasty good deal.

Check out Gabe’s View for more wine reviews, and follow Gabe on Twitter!

  

Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to July

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After a mostly disappointing June that saw the release of very few summer tentpole films (and even fewer that were any good), this month seems poised to follow suit with an equally lackluster lineup. There are a couple blockbuster-sized movies on tap in July (like the follow-up to the “Planet of the Apes” prequel and Dwayne Johnson’s long-gestating Hercules film), but everything else feels very un-summery, including a Fourth of July weekend devoid of a big action movie. Instead, America gets to celebrate its freedom with Melissa McCarthy, and that’s pretty telling of just how poor this summer season has been.

“DELIVER US FROM EVIL”

Who: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn and Chris Coy
What: NY police officer Ralph Sarchie joins forces with a priest schooled in the rituals of exorcism to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.
When: July 2nd
Why: I know what you’re thinking: yet another horror movie that’s supposedly inspired by real-life events? But while the setup may seem more than a little contrived, Hollywood has proven on numerous occasions that you can still make an excellent horror film no matter how preposterous its claims may be. (Remember a little movie called “The Exorcist”?) Scott Derrickson is also one of the better directors currently working in the genre, and with a cast that includes Eric Bana and the underrated Edgar Ramirez, “Deliver Us from Evil” certainly has the potential to follow in the footsteps of last year’s “The Conjuring” as one of the surprise hits of this summer.

“TAMMY”

Who: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd and Mark Duplass
What: After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother.
When: July 2nd
Why: Melissa McCarthy clearly didn’t get the memo that her 15 minutes of fame are up, because the actress (who’s essentially a less talented female version of Chris Farley) keeps plugging away with dumb movie after dumb movie. And to make matters worse, studios continue to green light these so-called comedies because they make obscene amounts of money. Then again, so do those god-awful spoof films and just about anything produced by Tyler Perry. If “Identity Thief” and “The Heat” weren’t evidence enough that McCarthy is one of the most annoying, undeserving movie stars in Hollywood, then surely “Tammy” (which she co-wrote with husband/director Ben Falcone) will finally put an end to America’s baffling love affair with her.

“DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES”

Who: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke and Kodi-Smit McPhee
What: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.
When: July 11th
Why: My expectations were pretty low going into “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which is why it was such a pleasant surprise that the movie was actually good. But while another installment in Fox’s franchise reboot was inevitable, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” seems to have lost a lot of what made the prequel so unique from the rest of the series. It still takes place well before the 1968 original, but now the apes are walking, talking and even riding on horses while firing machine guns. That’s a far cry from Rupert Wyatt’s more down-to-earth prequel, so here’s hoping that director Matt Reeves is able to retain some of the humanity from that film.

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