What Are Wine Gums? Do They Contain Alcohol? - Wine Turtle

What Are Wine Gums? Do They Contain Alcohol?

This post was updated on: October 1, 2018

What Are Wine Gums?

What Are Wine Gums

Many people know wine gums as some chewy, firm pastille sweets akin to gum drops that lack sugar coating. A lot of controversies substantially lies to whether these particular gums are alcoholic or not as their name suggests.

In 2009 a Cambridge shire shop denied a young schoolboy from purchasing wine gums purporting that he was ‘underage.' So, what are wine gums? These little treats are delightful, completely non-alcoholic sweets and are close relatives to jelly bellies, jujyfruits, jujubes, and other common gums.

A Brief History of Wine Gums

Wine gums were introduced by Charles Riley Maynard's son Charles Gordon Maynard in 1909. Riley Maynard, who ran a confectionery business together with his wife Sarah Ann, and brother Tom, was a strict teetotal- ling Methodist and almost chased his son from the established confectionery when he found out that the sweets had ‘wine' on their name.

 It took some efforts and time to fully convince the staunch Methodist householder that the gummies were actually kid-friendly and contained no wine.

Cadbury, a favorite British candy maker, took charge and now distributes the gummies under the name Maynard's Wine Gums.

Today, the gums are produced for the young people, and other flavors have been introduced that still carry on with the ‘wine' mockery. Such flavors include ‘mocktails’ wine gums—a recent release. According to Cadbury, the black and red gummies are the most common flavors.

Why Are They Called Wine Gums?

Apparently, the name of these favorite candy has been misunderstood ever since they were introduced most evidently from Gordon Maynard's father, Riley Maynard.

What the attendant Cambridge shire shop failed to know is that wine gums, in general, have unreservedly nothing to do with wine or alcohol. This popular thinking propagated the name ‘wine gums ‘or else why would someone come up with such a distracting name for kid's favorite treat if it totally has no relationship with word wine? There are two theories that can help us break down how the candy got this name:

  • There is a big pack description that says; ‘The pleasantly firm texture allows the full fruit flavors to linger -similar to the pleasurable experience of savoring a fine wine.'
  • Another fascinating explanation is that the wine gums inventor Charles Gordon Maynard invented the gummies to help others reduce the level of alcohol consumption.

What Flavors Are Available?

If you have a sweet tooth, you probably are an addict to the favorite Maynard cocktail flavor. The chewy, fresh, fruity, delicious, fun to eat and apparently somewhat unusual are all the best adjectives that I can use to describe the famous Maynard's wine gums, or who can resist fruity, chewy sweets?

Well, don't' answer if you are among the few people who think gummies are only meant for kids, or you picked a personal fight with them when you were little which ended up screwing all your teeth. Regardless of the reason, fruity wine gums are specially made for everyone to chew, the sugar is control so no blame games!

Consequently, the names gin, sherry, port, claret, champagne and Burgundy are not new on wine gum's pack even though the real flavors are the common strawberries, lime, and tangerine. Another reason why many people think that they contain wine. The most popular brand is Maynard which are made in various shapes. Their texture feels like soft pastille.

Are Wine Gums Healthy?

If you are a diet-conscious individual, you probably want to know the appropriate amount of wine gums to chew in one sitting. Maynard's Wine gums are made from natural colorings but contain small amounts of sulphites and Sulphur dioxide. The package also indicates that there could be traces of wheat and milk.

Wine gums are fat-free but contain approximately 1500kj or 360cal per 100g. That means that if you eat about 30g portion which typically contains about 500kj or 100cal, then you won't be doing any harm to your body. However, significant portions are dangerous, and they could ultimately lead to overweight and other weight-related illnesses.

Also, remember to clean your teeth every time you eat sweets to prevent tooth decay. Another crucial point to note is that too much cravings for sweets is not normal and indicates lack of certain nutrients in the body

How To Consume Them?

If you're looking for a sweet treat to keep your mouth busy as you concentrate on some other official duties, wine gums could fit quite precisely. Wine gums are not wholly tailored to the palate of children—another reason why they are similar to wine. Remember that the inventor had nothing in mind for the kids but targeted the drunkards in town.

If you can relate, you can explicitly point out that kids' candies are exceptionally soft, extremely sweet, and often sugarcoated whereas wine gums are virtually slightly sweetened, more stringent and require some great chewing to feel the flavor than their gummy counterparts.

Wine gums are an ideal snack to older family members and entertaining guests because they are much more nuanced, relatively, and prohibitively sweet and they tend to get a soft place in the hearts of adults. They provide a fantastic accent to salty snacks like chips, nuts and could actually pair nicely with moderately dry wines.

Final Thoughts

Some people think that the best way to eat wine gums is by aging them. They state that the gums are too fresh and too soft and that they're not in their right texture.

So, they take them out from the plastic sealed package and put them somewhere else probably in another container and store them for a few weeks while shaking them after some few days until - my own half hazard guess - they harden.

Personally, I don't think there exist a right or wrong way on taking wine gums.  Aged, semi-firm or freshly made from the confectionery itself, how you like them entirely depends on your preference. These savory treats can be enjoyed just like fine wine and shouldn't miss somewhere in your home.

About the Author

Although not having any formal training in wine, Tim has developed an irrefutable love wine and interest in anything related to it ever since he was a little kid. Coming from a family of wine lovers, it was from a young age that he got exposed to wine and the culture that goes with it and has been addicted ever since. Having traveled to dozens of wine regions across the world including those in France, Italy, California, Australia, and South Africa and tasted a large selection of their wines, it is with great joy that he hopes to share those experiences here and take you along on the journey.

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