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Recap: Wine Riot’s Top Sparkling Wines

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I was an unabashed wino Saturday night, stained lips and all. I didn’t care; I was at Wine Riot, surrounded by hundreds of other 20-something winos who couldn’t tell a grigio from a gris. But that was the point: Don’t call us connoisseurs; we just know good wine when we taste it.

And taste it we did. There were more than 30 wineries pouring 250 different wines at the DAR Constitution Hall. We tore through more than 2,000 bottles (kind of ridiculous, no?). The best part was, while hopping from pour to pour, I was tracking all my tastes on Wine Riot’s super helpful mobile app.

Wine Riot DC
Wine Riot DC

Of course, I made a point to taste all the sparklings being offered. And so I present you my top five picks for your next brunch party—all $15 or less. Orange juice optional.

Mionetto IL Moscato

My tasting notes: Super crisp. Bottle looks fancy but, hey, it’s only $10! Should I mention the “gentle effervescence?” Meh, this bubbly is good.

$10; find it at Barmy Wines or 1 West Dupont Circle Wine.

NV Pascual Toso Brut

My tasting notes: Not as much flavor as I’m used to, but I’m sure a spot of creme de cassis would liven this Argentinean brut up.

$13; find it at 1 West Dupont Circle Wine.

Giorgio & Gianni VIVA Frizzante

My tasting notes: Hello, my new Italian lovers, Giorgio and Gianni, and thank you for this sparkling. It makes me want to embrace life, frizz(ante) and all.

$8; find it at Scneider’s of Capitol Hill or 1 West Dupont Circle Wine.

Mionetto Prosecco

My tasting notes: Another Mionetto, I know, I know; but that’s because they are good. I like this one because it’s got a bottle top, and it tastes like apples. Yes, apples.

$14; find it at Barmy Wines or 1 West Dupont Circle Wine.

NV Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco

My tasting notes: Gosh, I haven’t had any actual champagne here. Oh well, back to the prosecco. This one is peachy and great because it’s super chilled. I want this at my next picnic.

$15; find it at 1 West Dupont Circle Wine.

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  1. Wine snobs tend to look down on sparkling wine. They compare it unfavorably to Champagne. But sparkling wine is not a poor substitute for Champagne. There are many sparkling wines that are good wines in their own right. They just do not happen to be made in Champagne.

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