Will you getta look at these beauties! The photograph was taken by Sue, my kick-ass, firefighter, garden-guru friend. She wrote to me last week and said, "Have you ever heard of Wine Gums?" In fact I had. I've seen them at the candy table at the British Invasion car show I used to go to every year and I always *almost* bought them. I didn't quite know what to make of them, though, so I never ended up buying them. But when Sue mentioned them, I figured it was high time. I assumed I'd have to go to the British import store, so imagine my surprise when I found them in Stop & Shop!
I was pretty psyched because the box has drawings of the candies labeled with (what I thought were) the flavors: Chablis, Port, Claret, Hock. (Wait ... what the heck is Hock?) I was surprised when we opened the package and there were even more flavors represented: Gin, Rioja, and a few others. But here's the thing: there was an orange gin and a red gin. A purple port and a yellow port. Huh?
I took one of the purple ones with a gin and gave it a chew. Definitely not gin. More like black currant (which I have to say is quickly becoming one of my favorite candy flavors). I've been trying to figure out what to compare them to. Here's Sue's take on the whole thing:
I couldn't help thinking they were like Swedish fish. The flavors were bright and pleasing but the food snob in me wanted them to really be wine flavored or cocktail flavored, or perhaps at least gooseberry, or kiwi. The texture is really the best part. I love chewy candy, even better if they don't stick to your teeth. Also, "Hock" is short for Hocheimer which is a German varietal wine. This makes me think that I would rather be in Germany, on the Rhine at a small restaurant drinking hock and eating schnitzel. MMMMMMMMM....
She's right about the chew. It's unusual. Not too chewy and I think a little stiffer than a Swedish fish. Not as greasy, either. More of a waxy taste. These remind me of some type of gummy candy, but I just can't place it. Kind of a like a gumdrop without the sugar? Hmm. I'll have to ponder this some more. And I have no idea what the whole booze theme is about, since they don't taste anything like wine or spirits and don't list anything remotely close in the ingredients. Any Brits out there care to shed some light on these things?
STOP THE PRESS! It just came to me: Dots! They're the same texture as Dots. Phew. Now I can get on with my day.