Meet the Florham Park Radio Host Behind the Vino Diva Wine Aeration Straw

By Alexander Rivero, Staff Writer

Coffee is great. Many would agree that so is wine. But we can always make great things even better. And that’s what brings us to Florham Park resident Shannon Holly and her wonderful invention, the Vino Diva Wine Aeration Straw. 

Holly is a 25-year radio veteran and co-host of the syndicated morning drive radio show Lou and Shannon in the Morning  (broadcasting out of 94.3 The Point on the Jersey Shore and on SoJo 104.9 Atlantic City). Friendly and enthusiastic, she recalls being infatuated by radio as a child, and “interviewing” family members at parties. She loves the job and what it gives her which, among other things, is an opportunity to be nosy about celebrity trivia, a particular specialty of hers, as well as more rewarding perks, like being nose-to-the-ground involved in important charity events, making a real difference in people’s lives, and meeting people from all walks of life. She says of her radio work, “It’s really, really satisfying to do the charity work especially and raise a lot of money to help people and children who are sick.”

Not too long ago, while with a friend over coffee, she noticed her friend’s plastic straw—which she had dropped into a piping hot cup of coffee—was melting right into the hot liquid. A spark went off in Holly’s imagination, and she went to work, committed to coming up with a well-built straw that could withstand the heat of a fresh serving of coffee, all while allowing the person to enjoy their cup o’ joe without having to worry about staining their teeth. 

Along the road of brainstorming and blue-printing, Holly began to take mental inventory of everything having to do with coffee straws, including the reasons for which people use them in the first place. People use straws with their coffee to prevent or reduce stains on their teeth. 

Enter realization number two: why not provide a similar product to wine drinkers? After all, the acidity in both coffee and wine are known to not only stain teeth in regular drinkers of either beverage, but reduce protective layers of enamel on teeth. 

Holly contacted her good friend Ross Lazarov, an inventor with an engineering bend. Lazarov’s main area of interest up until then had been in providing new tools for the landscaping world. When he listened to Holly’s proposal, however, his mind started working on the new idea of the coffee/wine straw right away. 

“He got right to work,” says Holly. “He started experimenting right away with everything he had at his disposal—lasers, all sorts of different tools. Right from his house.”

Holly’s main goal with the product was to create not only a sturdy straw that one could use for both coffee and wine, but one that could easily fit into a purse, clean while on the road, and—yes—aerate each sip of win, from glass to lips. Because why not. Period.  

“As for the wine portion of the straw, what bothered me the most was that I didn’t want to wait for a freshly opened bottle of wine to air out,” laughs Holly. “It was impatience that brought me to my inspiration.”

Holly and Lazarov worked for weeks on prototype after prototype in his garage. When they finally came up with one that worked perfectly, Holly remembers the feeling of pure jubilance. “We were jumping up and down like little kids in the garage we were so happy,” she recalls. “We had gone through so many of them and finally to have one that worked in the way we had anticipated it working was a real thrill.”    

The end result: A 100% portable, cleanable, reusable straw that allows you to deposit either coffee (from the “C” side of the straw) or wine (from the “V” side), as well as other drinks, right onto your awaiting palette without staining your teeth. For wine, the patented micro-port system fully aerates the vino with each sip, so that you don’t have to wait for the entire contents of the bottle to aerate in real-time, which we all know can be a huge drag. The product comes with its own travel case and cleaning brush, and is made with FDA-grade aluminum. 

The Vino Diva Wine Aeration Straw has been a hit since it came out, spreading to wine stores and vineyards and wineries across the country. Some of the Real Housewives of New Jersey even used them on air, to Holly’s surprise. 

“I was watching the show on TV and saw them using it. I was blown away and immediately offered to send them product to help me expand the name. I told them to hand them out to everyone, and they were extremely helpful.” 

Looking ahead, Holly says she would like to expand her product by partnering with someone like The Real Houswives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel, who sold her Skinnygirl brand to Jim Beam for a cool $100 million. 

“I’d love someone like that to Shark Tank me. I think we’d do great in taking this product to a new level. It’s doing well not only in wine stores and vineyards, but even in dentists across the country are starting to recommend it for keeping a white smile.” 

  For anyone interested in a Vino Diva Wine Aeration Straw, check them out on Amazon.

 

 

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