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Italy and France represent old world wine done right to many folks. It seems like you can often blindly pick up a pretty expensive bottle and still think you’re drinking well.

Here are a couple reviews of totally different wines at similar price points but both represent good QPR – or Quality Price Ration.

banfiBanfi Belnero 2010 Toscana – This is a wine with great body and full flavor for a price around $23. I did like it better the second night than the first. The time in the opened bottle – closed with a rubber stopper – seemed to do the body good.

Coffee, cedar, and a nice dry mouth feel made this work well with some pasta and a grilled pork chop on back to back nights. This is a delightful three-grape blend dominated by Italy’s Sangiovese with hints of Cabernet and Merlot.

The 2010 scored 88 points from Wine Spectator after garnering a 92 for the previous vintage. So it is a consistently good wine. The Banfi name is an iconic label known as the world’s oldest winery. The wines are very widely available.

Banfi Belnero 2010 Toscana, SRP $25, Trade Sample, Highly Recommended.

08189bDomaine Lafond 2012 Tavel Rose’ –  I’ve become a huge fan, as frequently noted, of Provence Rose’. But for years Tavel in the Rhone has been known for its fabulous Rose wines.

The Tavel wines are richer in color – think a cranberry hue – and more full bodied than their lighter and salmon-pink wines to the south.

This Rose’ is a traditional GSM wine but a Rose’ – Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. It has the expected strawberry and a bit of berry candy flavor but delivers solidly for a different taste of French Rose’.

Critic scores were all over the place on this wine but I’d rate it as solid wine you should try. Prices vary widely.

Domaine Lafond 2012 Tavel, $19.99, Vine & Table, Carmel, Recommended.

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