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Wine Gums

Sweets and Toffee

Soft fruit-flavoured, coloured jelly sweets in geometric shapes, marked with the names of the types of wine they purport to imitate.

Maynards wine gums, 2013

Charles Riley Maynard started his London sweets business in 1880. A strict teetotaller, he was said to have been enraged when, in 1909, his son Charles Gordon Maynard came up with Wine Gums and, apparently, required some convincing that they contain no wine. The Maynard brand is now owned by Cadbury, and although other makes imitate them, the original manufacturers still use shapes of kidney, crown, diamond, circle and rectangle, marked with Port, Sherry, Champagne, Burgundy and Claret.

In 1997 Anna Ayala sued the Maynards for having intoxicated her child with their gums. Although a plainly spurious claim, Maynards settled out of court, presumably to avoid the fuss. Mrs Ayala later found herself in prison after trying a similarly fake claim (involving an amputated finger in some chilli) on a burger chain.

Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, kept a jar of Wine Gums next to his bed.

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