Wine Gums

Brand: Maynards Bassetts

Cost: 65p

Found at: Sainsbury’s


When it comes to alcohol, I always assumed that the US was fairly liberal. After all, in Washington, you can now buy booze at the grocery store – on a Sunday no less! But then I came to the UK and realized that, in the American psyche, prohibition never fully ended. Everywhere I go, I am reminded how puritan my attitudes really are. I am startled to go to pubs and see 18-year-olds leaning against the bar. I am even more shocked when bottles of wine appear at university meet-and-greets. And I positively need to lie down when I realize that every third shop is a pub.


Alcohol is just more common and less perverse here than it is in the states, and these candies are a prime example.


Back home, we would call these “gummies.” They taste identical to gummy bears and gummy worms – though these are in the less exciting (though equally delicious and more portable) disc form. Yet they are called “wine gums” and marketed to kids – something that I’m sure would cause a bit of a stink back home. Either you are giving wine to children or you are encouraging them to drink wine – and then you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from sin, sorrow, and eventual death.


But here, no one thinks twice. There’s no wine in them, after all, and even if there were, wine is not such a terrible thing in the collective psyche of Great Britain. So, they are marketed as wine gums and everyone moves on with their lives.


Except me, the idiot handing over her ID at the Sainsbury’s check-out.

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