When we heard about Real Wine Gums here at Forward Fooding, we couldn’t help but be excited. From the cosmopolitain packaging, to the tantalising taste, every step of the Real Wine Gum experience has been hand-crafted to give a sophisticated feel to an adult indulgence. Vinoos, founded by Marleen Teters and Mireille Reuling, offers Real Wine Gums in Chardonnay, Merlot and Rosé flavours. We spoke to Mireille to learn all about how these delicious little moments of heaven came to be, and most importantly, how we could get some for ourselves!
So where did the idea for The Real Wine Gum come from?
I started at the Academy of Arts, and I’d always thought it would be great to do something with wines. Wine is an experience: there’s a reason it holds a privileged position amongst other beverages. I think wine is something special, and so I’ve always actively looked for ways to work with it and explore my creativity. I wanted to do something which would muster up that experience of the first sip of a great wine, but without drinking it. That led me to an art installation, The WineXperience, which engaged all the senses to experience wine without ever putting a glass to your lips. I tried to capture the sense of relaxation and joy that comes with wine, but my next goal was to capture that in an edible form.
When I had the idea to create edible wine, it was like a lightbulb had gone off. After all, we all know what a traditional ‘wine gum’ is, and so it felt like the idea was just screaming out to me. Together with my business partner Marleen Teters, Michelin star chefs, and food research institutes, I started to create the first prototypes. And so, the idea was born!
Are they actually wine gums?
Currently, we do a range of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic wine gums. It’s always been very important to me to ensure that we produce something that everyone can enjoy, and if we exclusively made alcoholic wine gums, we’d alienate pregnant women, Muslim women, and tee-totallers. All of our gummies are vegetarian and fruit based, and they don’t contain gluten, fat, added sugars, nuts, lactose or artificial colours.
That being said, in 2016, we launch seaweed based, alcoholic gummies, starting with Champagne and Gin. It’s very cool, because the Gin, for example, creates a warm sensation and you can get a little tipsy. The Champagne wine gum will give a ‘bubbling effect’ and will have small specks of gold in them. The bubbling effect is created with Szechuan pepper, a citrus fruit which creates a tingling effect on the palate.
They sound great! So are they good for you?
Aside from making sure we never add E-numbers, and use less sugar than regular gummies, our Real Wine Gums also offer opportunities to add ingredients that provide health benefits. We’re talking with cardiologists to add polyphenols, which are very good for the heart. We also add health superfoods like wheat grass, to our Sauvignon Blancs, and acai in our other wine gums. We’ve always been committed to not just having a really fun product, but one that’s good for you too!
How important is sustainability to your company?
Our company is always on a mission to use sustainable ingredients, to claim environmental responsibility, and to be socially consciousness. The latter is expressed through our use of unbleached paper for the packaging, as well as our partnership with social workspaces. It’s a significant added value that every Vinoos order directly contributes to social development. By helping, for instance, unskilled people and lower-skilled people, a vulnerable group, and providing them with economic growth possibilities, we feel that we’re a company you genuinely works towards a brighter future. We’re always putting our efforts in innovation, development and helping other people.
What do you think the future of real wine gummies will be?
As I’ve said, we’re interested in actively putting more health-benefitting ingredients within our products. We’re also venturing more and more into experimenting with different bases for our products. While the Chardonnay and Merlot varieties are based on wheat starch, the Rosé wine gum contains pectin and the Champagne and Gin versions are based on seaweed. In the future, seaweed is probably the way forward, as I think that by using a product from the sea, it will become an even more sustainable product, even healthier, and be better tasting.
I think our ultimate goal is to create a range of wine gums with distinct flavours, for example, to be able to compare a Chardonnay from California with a Chardonnay from New Zealand. For now, though, Vinoos will create a red, a white and a rosé wine every year, as well as a premium variety, allowing consumers to taste new wines every year. Replacing the old every year with the new.
Now the most important question — where can we get some?
Currently, the best place to buy The Real Wine Gum is through the company’s website. If you are traveling in Europe, however, you may find the gum in higher end hotels and retailers! So keep your eyes peeled!
Thank you for talking to us! If you’d like to join Vinoos and be part of a community which powers the FoodTech revolution and strives for a future of sustainability, come and be part of Forward Fooding’s Global FoodTech Map here.
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