Delightful, fruit-flavoured chewy, pastille-type gums made in a rainbow of dazzling colours, stamped with signature wine labels. Similar in style to gumdrops, just without the sugar coating, these delicious sweets originate from the UK, with all brands featuring their own recipes. Wine gums make great gifts for anyone – especially our 2KG box of Lion Wine Gums.
Whether you’re trying them for the first time or rekindling childhood retro sweetshop memories, you're sure to find a wine gum flavour you’ll just love. Made with only natural colours, wine gums are lovingly created to give you the very best taste and are perfect for sharing with friends and family.
The History of English Wine Gums
Many moons ago, Charles Riley Maynard began his business in 1880 by creating confectionery in his kitchen with his brother, Tom, with his wife Sarah Ann serving customers.
Maynard’s sweet business slowly took off, and by 1896, business was booming so much that he launched it as a company.
Maynard’s Wine Gums were first created in 1909 by Maynard’s son, Charles Gordon Maynard. But Charles nearly had his son fired after discovering junior Maynard had come up with his own recipe for Maynard’s Wine Gums!
Although Maynard didn’t believe it at first when his son claimed the wine gums recipe didn’t contain actual wine.
Wine Gum Flavours
In our humble opinion, the best English wine gums are the red ones (raspberry), but you may disagree! Although we don’t stock Bassett’s Wine Gums, we offer these much-loved sweets from other brands, including Haribo, Lion, Swizzles Matlow and Taveners, all of which are available in the below official flavours:
Red berry, strawberry or raspberry (red)
The gums come in five shapes: kidney, crown, diamond, circle and rectangle, and are labelled with five names: port, sherry, champagne, burgundy and claret. They don’t now - or have ever - contained wine.
Wine Gums Ingredients
Despite their name, wine gums don’t contain any wine. The list of ingredients includes:
Modified maize starch
Acetic and citric acid
Concentrated vegetable extracts, including black carrot, spinach, stinging nettle and turmeric
Flavourings; carnauba wax; and vegetable carbon, paprika extract and lutein for colouring
Wine Gums Calories
Most products supply right around 90 calories per 28g. Another major brands provide 130 calories per 7-piece serving, which means that a single wine gum contains about 19 calories.
Do Wine Gums Have Alcohol in Them?
You may be wondering, “Do wine gums have wine in them?” Basically, no. They do, however, contain Acetic acid, the acid found in vinegar. Vinegars are often the end-result of wine and some (cheap or spoiled) wines have a vinegary taste. That's close enough for purveyors of wine gums.
Why Are Wine Gums Called “Wine Gums”?
Why are they called "wine gums", exactly? There are two legendary stories told.
As one legend goes, Maynard – a teetotaller – decided to market his sweets, as he wanted to encourage folks to reduce their alcohol consumption and to distract drinkers from the evils of the bottle. This is why the you see “Burgundy”, “Claret”, and so on, stamped onto the gums.
The other legend is simpler – and most likely the real story.
Maynard and his son wanted to promote the fact their sweets should be relished as much as a wine lover would appreciate a fine bottle of vino – he wanted his confectionery to be cherished in the same way. This is the reason for labelling them with wine names and for the term “wine gums”.