Candy for wine connoisseurs? A brand of British-based Cadbury candies, Maynards Wine Gums are hot, hot, hot in the UK, which is where I first tried them. In fact, they are to the U.K. what Starburst and Skittles are to the United States. Imagine chewy gum drops in wine-inspired flavors and colors, and you’ve imagined Maynards Wine Gums.
But, don’t be fooled by the name. Wine gums are not chewing gum, but more of a chewy gummi candy. And they don’t contain any wine! They come in larger bags and smaller rolls that you can pick up from the candy aisle and take on the road for a refreshing fruity taste. These candies may not suit those who don’t like wine—or parents who don’t want their kids to develop a liking for alcohol. They come in flavors like port, sherry, burgundy, champagne and claret, as well as different shapes including kidney-shaped, crown, and rectangle. Invented by Charles Maynard in 1909, these chews have a thicker consistency than other gummies, which lets the flavor last—like a fine wine. The flavor quotient on these candies is outstanding—bright and refreshing all the way down.
I was initially lured in by a wall-sized poster in a London Tube stop. Wine Gums? I was stumped. I could tell they were candies and that I wanted to try them, but I really didn’t know what to expect. So I dashed off to a convenience store to stock up on Green & Blacks candy bars (a real candy gem!) and purchased a pack of wine gums out of curiosity. At first taste, I didn’t know what to think. They did in fact taste a bit like alcohol, but not in an overwhelming way. The flavor was unique but hard to describe. Black and red wine gums are the most popular, but yellow, green, and orange are not to be omitted. The number-one selling fruity candy in the U.K., wine gums are a product you really have to experience for yourself.