To me, charoset is the ultimate Jewish chutney. It combines Eastern and Western cultures with the use of Mediterranean dates, which are strangely popular in Eastern European cuisine. Together with chazeret, these two are probably my highlight of any Passover dinner. My charoset adds texture with sesame and nigella seed, and acidity with sumac and sherry vinegar, which are also more preservative than traditional lemon juice. It could easily be served throughout the year and would be excellent as a cake filling or with cold meats or roasts. And please stay away from cheap sweet wine, a quality sweet port or sherry, something you'd enjoy drinking, is what your charoset deserves.
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients using a spatula and refrigerate until serving. Can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of time.
*alternatively puree 1 cup pitted medjool dates with the sweet wine and however much water is necessary to blend (this also makes a great sandwich spread, cake filling, addition to stews, sauces, tagines, etc.)