Chicken in White Wine and Mustard Sauce with Cana Vineyards and Winery’s 2018 Albariño

Melanie Natoli, the winemaker and vineyard manager at Cana, offered her 2018 Albariño for a chicken dish. She says, “Albariño is an up-and-coming white in this region. It’s a citrus-driven and higher acid kind of white.” The acidity of the wine cuts through the rich bacon grease and mustard-based sauce resulting in a well-rounded chicken dish. 

Serves: 4 | Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped 
  • 4 chicken thighs (about 1 pound), bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika 
  • ½ cup of 2018 Albariño 
  • 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream 
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1.  Place a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook until the bacon is browned and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. 
  2. Next, rub the chicken with the paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down and cook for 5-8 minutes until browned. Flip the chicken and cook the other side for 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  4. Pour the wine into the skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, sour cream, and thyme. Whisk to combine. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning
  5. if necessary.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan and cover. Cook the chicken for 15 – 20 minutes over medium heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. 

Serve the chicken with a generous slather of sauce, more fresh thyme sprigs and the bacon bits sprinkled over the top.

Mulled Wine Plum Crumble with Cana Vineyards and Winery’s 2017 Unité Reserve Red Wine

For dessert, Natoli recommends her 2017 Unité Reserve Red Wine. She says, “This is my estate red blend. It is my favorite because I am the grape-grower and winemaker, so these are my grapes. I pull the best of the rest from the vineyard, from a vintage.” This year’s blend is Merlot-heavy, adding an extra punch of plum flavor to the plum crumble.  

Serves: 4 – 6 | Time: 2 hours


  • 2 cups of 2017 Unité Reserve Red Wine
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly 
  • 2 star anise 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 3 whole cloves 
  • Zest of one orange 
  • 8 – 10 red plums, depending on their size
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of brown sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon of salt 
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1/3 cup of cold butter, diced


  1. First, make the mulled wine. Place the 2017 Unité Reserve Red Wine, granulated sugar, red currant jelly, star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange zest in a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Cook while stirring for 1 – 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for an additional 15 – 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and thickened slightly. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch round baking dish with butter.
  3. Cut the plums in half, remove the pit, and cut each half into four wedges. Arrange the plums in the baking dish so they fit snuggly.
  4. Bake the plums for 10 minutes until tender.
  5. While the plums are baking, make the crumb topping. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the cold butter and rub it in with your fingers until the mixture clumps like wet sand. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. After 10 minutes, remove the plums from the oven and cover with mulled wine syrup. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the plums and return to the oven to bake for 50 – 55 minutes until the plums are bubbling and the crumb topping has browned.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. ML

 Kaitlin Hill is a Culinary Institute of America trained chef, owner of Kait-Made Catering, and the creator of the Emotional Eats Blog where she shares her original recipes and studies in food history. To read more, visit 

This article first appeared in the October 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.