Most Canadians know of wine gums, but a surprising number don't actually understand exactly what they are, where they came from, and how they're supposed to be enjoyed. To help clear some of this up, we're going to quickly delve into the wine gum, hopefully helping you to appreciate the complexity of the sweet little English treat.

Where do wine gums come from?

Wine gums are an English confection, through-and-through. They were originally created by a London confectioner working out of his brother's kitchen in 1880. Within six years, wine gums were being distributed throughout the country, and had become a staple of English confections.

How much alcohol do they have in them?

Despite the fact that the flavours often sport names like "port", "sherry", and "gin", wine gums actually aren't made with any alcohol at all. In fact, the creator was from a strict Methodist household, and his father almost fired him when he'd heard he was selling something with 'wine' in the name.

While the reason why they're called "wine gums" is a bit of a mystery, there are two strong theories, one stating that wine gums were so-called in an attempt to lure people away from alcohol, giving them a flavourful substitute, the other theory being that the texture of these gums make them much more lingering and nuanced than other confections, allowing you to savour them like a fine wine.

How do they taste, and when should I serve them?

Another way that wine gums are similar to wine is that they're not really tailored for the palate of children. Many other gummy confections are extremely sweet, often sugar-coated, and quite soft, whereas wine gums tend to be much more light on the sweetness, and much more tough and chewy than their gummy counterparts.

Wine gums are ideal snack food to leave out when entertaining guests. Because they're much more nuanced and less prohibitively sweet, they tend to be favored by the adult crowd. They can provide a nice accent to salty snacks such as nuts or chips, and actually pair quite nicely with moderately dry wines.

Would you like to try wine gums for yourself? Are you a wine gum fan whose mouth is watering after all this talk of the sweet, savory treat? Find Waterbridge wine gums at any of these fine distributors.