20071016

A new wine from an old bombshell

Joan Lucille Olander earned her first public acclaim at age 15 when she was named Miss Palm Springs.

She'll get her latest on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club in Santa Rosa, CA. That's when she'll launch her first, limited edition of collectible Mamietage wine bottles.

The younger generation(s) may not recognize Ms. Olander, but those of a certain age certainly will if you say the name "Mamie Van Doren." She was one of the Hollywood "Blonde Bombshells" of the 1950s and '60s along with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, although definitely the least of the group. Now, at age 77 and the lone survivor of the group, she's getting into the celebrity wine game along with the likes of Lorraine Bracco, Fess Parker, Francis Ford Coppola and Oliva Newton-John.

The wine labels on 1.5 liter bottles feature three images of Mamie. Two of the images are of Mamie today, and the third image is of Mamie at age 21. The labels feature nude poses of Mamie covered up by a top, clear peeloff label with strategically-placed stars. Peel the label away, and there she is.

The wine, a Bordeaux blend from Sonoma County's Armida Winery, is called Mamietage and is a limited production of 2,000 bottles of each image, individually numbered. The blend utilizes Cabernet sauvignon, petite verdot, syrah and malbec.

Van Doren, who has been married five times, was known for her sexual image rather than her acting chops during her Hollywood days. One of the memorable quotes attributed to her was this: ""I don't wear panties anymore. This startles the Hollywood wolves so much they don't know what to pull at, so they leave me alone."

She dated Howard Hughes and a string of actors and had roles of varying size in such motion pictures as "His Kind of Woman" (1951), "Yankee Pasha" (1954), "Untamed Youth" (1957), "Sex Kittens Go to College" and "Vice Squad"(1960), "Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women" (1966) and other forgettable epics, winding up with only four bit-part appearances in the past 40 years, including 2002's "Slackers."



To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Brews Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Non-Alcohol Drinks Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Tasting Notes latest entry.
Back to Dowd On Drinks home page.

1 comment:

Alan Metz said...

Your article on Mamie Van Doren brought me back to the ’50s, when she was making a movie in my hometown in California with Rod Steiger called “Unholy Wife.”

The town was St. Helena and the location for some of the movie was the Rhine House at the Berringer Brothers Winery (at that time still owned by the Berringers). So, she’s had a bit of a wine connection for a while.