I also got a fantastic Hausa/ Fulani peanut cooking sauce - Balangwu Suya Paste by Naija - that worked a tasty treat with some fried onions, a bit of tomato purée and browned steak chunks topped up with water. It was perfect after a 10 minute simmer.
|Delectable chorizo from Hacienda Zorita|
The best thing I took away, though, was the experience of a dessert wine tasting with specialists Cressis Wine. A family business with their own vineyard in Italy, they import a range of small producer handcrafted wines from all over the world, but their selection of sweet wines is unique.
Now I don't possess even a fraction of a sweet tooth, but sampling Cressis' dessert wines reawakened my love for them. When living in France I used to savour a glass of Montbazillac with a slice of creamy, salty Roquefort cheese. Somehow (Tax on wine? Living with a cheese-hater? Lack of readily available choice? Most Brits not appreciating it?), being in the UK I had forgotten to occasionally mix things up with a special dessert wine.
|Cressis' dessert wines at the tasting|
The German von Wendland family who own Cressis Wine, has intricate knowledge of the mind-boggling varieties of German and Austrian sweet wines, that are classified according to production method (e.g. ice wine, nobel rot, fortification etc) and sugar levels, all with long, memory-defying names like Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese. It was good to experience in my mouth what I'd learned but failed to retain from the WSET course. I tasted wines starting with young and semi-sweet, up to intensely sweet, syrupy, immensely complex and bloody wonderful - the last being the Rosenhoff Chardonnay Trockenbeerenauslese 2010 (£25.99) . It has juicy acidity to balance the syrupy sweetness, with a rainbow of developing flavours including caramelised apple, white peach and orange chocolate. You have to taste it to believe it.
Whether you generally like sweet things or not, I'd urge anyone to experience a dessert wine tasting.
Happy 2016! x