Can this new wine and toasted cheese flavored gummy candy give connoisseurs a pocket-sized taste of the high life?
Available at convenience stores and supermarkets for about 150 yen (US$1.40), Puccho: Wine & Yaki-Cheese is a part of the brand’s Ajiyui series, which also includes a matcha flavor. Puccho has attracted attention their unusual flavors in the past, like last-year’s Salmon.
The package boasts a combination of “mellow wine” with the “savory flavor of cheese” and also says that it “uses French Bordeaux red wine.” Upon unwrapping a candy, you’ll find a very unassuming pinkish purple color with no sign of the cheese.
After taking a bite I could make out some cheese bits. They were speckled throughout the candy like chocolate chips in a cookie. They also gave off a faint aroma of cheese which was a little unsettling coming from a candy like this.
However, the flavor wasn’t bad. It just tasted like grape juice to me without any of the bold dryness of wine. Still, it managed to blend with the cheese rather well. The cheese flavor itself wasn’t strong and just kind of hung in the background of the stronger grape flavor. It worked even though it was basically the opposite of what the package promised.
However, I should come clean and say that I know next to nothing when it comes to wine. While some people may label me a philistine for that, I prefer to think of myself as a man of the people.
Anyway, to make sure this was actually wine flavored, I asked the assistance of a friend who is a licensed sommelier to see what she thought of these candies.
“It just tastes like grape. I couldn’t taste the cheese at all either. Real wine shouldn’t be so sweet and should not smell or taste exactly like grapes either. Especially, a young Bordeaux should be bold, sour, and bitter. However, I could definitely feel wine in the aftertaste. It feels like I just drank some.”
[Miyuki Naka, sommelier]
So it would seem I was right about these tasting like grape juice, and, upon reflection, I recalled that there was a sort of acidic feeling on the back of my tongue, much like after having some wine. It seems you won’t get the sensation of wine while eating, but you can have the feeling of just finishing some wine…minus the buzz.
If for that or any other reason wine chews aren’t your cup of tea, the Puccho: Taberu Ocha flavor ought to be…since it is, in fact, tea.
Taberu Ocha chews are made with matcha powder, giving it that mellow sweetness used in a range of other confections. However, the overall flavor of these candies is provided an aromatic boost by little pieces of tencha, which are the dried leaves that get ground into matcha.
Surprisingly, I found these to have a more classy taste that the wine & cheese Puccho, but both were good in their own ways. In the end, neither candy is likely to blow your mind with flavor, but if you’d like a change of pace in your candy consumption, these Ajiyui Puccho are well worth the price of admission.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m preparing for a romantic date.