Jennifer Sullivan, mother of twins, was enjoying a rare moment of down time watching a re-run of one of her favorite sitcoms, Cougar Town. It just happened to be the episode where Cox and her friends are joking about pouring wine with complaints about spilling, how boring it is and getting “wine wrist” from constantly having to uncork the bottle. From under the counter, Cox takes out a “guzzle buddy,” screws it into the bottle, and voila!

Jennifer was convinced that such an item must actually be available. Her brother-in-law, Randy Rothfus, retired dentist and children’s book author, shared her love of wine. When she called him all excited about the prospect of such an item, he shared her excitement and joined in the search for it. To their surprise, it didn’t exist. “Well, then,” they decided, “we’ll just have to make it ourselves!”

Jennifer and Randy set up a website and arranged for manufacture of a 16 oz. Guzzle Buddy Wine Bottle Glass made from borosilicate glass. The sleeve is constructed of 100% silicone and screws into most bottles to provide a perfect seal. They began to sell the Guzzle Buddy through the website and on Amazon.

After posting pictures and videos through YouTube and on Facebook, it didn’t take long for the Guzzle Buddy to go viral. In October, 2016 they were featured on Live with Kelly, in the food section of Cosmopolitan, and on Delish. On January 20, 2017, Candace Braun Davison of Delish updated the story reporting that “…early momentum snowballed into a media frenzy. Videos started popping up about the wine glass attachment, and websites, TV shows and newspapers all over … started featuring it. United Airlines included it in the company’s 2016 gift guide. Before long, Rothfus and Sullivan had shipped a Guzzle Buddy to every continent except Antarctica, with most of their orders coming from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Germany.”

In that same story, Jennifer attributes some of the success to one of their tongue-in-cheek tweets during the 2016 election campaign. “We think it was related to a tweet of ours that said, ‘Get a Guzzle Buddy for the last debate, you’re gonna need it!'” she said. “People needed something fun to get their mind off the election process.”

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Popularity of the Guzzle Buddy continued to grow. On February 28, 2017, it was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Jennifer and Randy promoted the Guzzle Buddy at the December, 2017, Atlanta Gift Mart, and Inc.com included it in their list of “9 Gifts for Wine Lovers (That Will Make Them Laugh).”

Perhaps the question on everyone’s mind might be, “why not just drink from the bottle?” The answer, according to the Guzzle Buddy website FAQ section, is related to taste. “Researchers suggest that when we taste something, as much as 80 percent can be attributed to the smell.” Drinking directly from the bottle doesn’t allow appreciation of the smell of the wine or beer. When using the Guzzle Buddy, however, “liquid streams down the inside of the glass allowing the carbonated bubbles to burst releasing those wonderful aromas that you inhale.”

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Guzzle Buddy can also be used in cider or soda bottles. A 12 oz. Beer Glass was added in 2017 and an unbreakable version, the Guzzle Buddy 2 GO, made from Tritan, (a high-quality copolyester BPA free material), is in the works. This item will be perfect for camping, picnics and tailgating.

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Shark Tank Air Date: 1/21/18 – Season 9 – Episode 19

 

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