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Did You Notice THIS Change In Hallmark's "Raise a Glass to Love?"

Starring:  Laura Osnes and Juan Pablo di Pace

Released:  2021 (Fall Harvest)

Summary:  An aspiring Master Sommelier returns to her family vineyard to study and is intrigued by the natural methods of the handsome new Argentinian winemaker.

Laura Osnes and Juan Pablo di Paci in Hallmark's "Raise a Glass to Love"
Magic happens when Hallmark actually uses talented actors instead of inexperienced "newbies."

Jenna's Boyfriend, Aidan, Isn't A Weiner

When a female lead already has a boyfriend before she meets her true love, Hallmark traditionally casts the secondary male character as a bit of a jerk, someone homely, or a puny fella so viewers won't get attached to him and be upset when he's kicked to the curb.  A recent example is Callie's ex-boyfriend, Joe, in Roadhouse Romance.

Played by Adil Zaidi, no one is heartbroken when Callie decides against rekindling her romance with high school sweetheart, Joe.  He is too small and looks like a weasel or a potential terrorist.

In a refreshing change-up, Raise a Glass to Love pairs Jenna Savern (Laura Osnes) with Aidan Parker (Matthew James Dowden).  Aidan is tall, handsome, classy, and successful.  His only flaw is that he and Jenna share different dreams, and he overlooks her initially for the sommelier job at his fine dining restaurant.  Even when he ultimately gives her the position, he treats her as an employee rather than a partner he can trust to work independently.  

Even though it's a subtle break from the norm, it's nice to see a supporting role be played by someone of equal caliber to the leading male star.

Who Knew A Wine Expert Is Called A Sommelier?  

This movie separated viewers into socio-economic classes--those who knew before watching what a sommelier was and how to pronounce it, and the rest of us who still can't say the word correctly and never knew a wine expert had an official title. 

Throwing this fancy term around the whole movie reminds me of Christmas at the Plaza when a lot of us learned that a Christmas tree topper is technically called a finial d'arbre.  

Did you know Jennifer Huether, the female sommelier Jenna admired and who lavished high praise on Marcelo's wine, is actually a Master Sommelier in real life?  Jennifer is a very sought-after speaker, and you can read more about her here.    

Jennifer Huether and Laura Osnes from Hallmark's "Raise a Glass to Love"
Jennifer Huether is a real-life Master Sommelier.  Image: Crown Media

It's also true that there are only 269 Master Sommeliers worldwide and a mere 28 of them are women.  Of course, Hallmark latches onto this fact in their current state of "wokeness" to perpetuate the feminist myth that women are somehow disenfranchised, which is bologna.  Like Jenna's character, Huether got to where she is through grueling study, thousands of flashcards, sleepless nights, and practicing blind taste testing.  Though the majority of us couldn't imagine developing the skill to taste wine and pinpoint its exact ingredients, geographic region of origin, and the year it was made, this is a pursuit open to both sexes--no ax to grind here, Hallmark!

Raise A Glass To Love Features A Talented Cast

Hallmark claims to be recruiting new talent, but this movie shows that seasoned actors make for a higher quality movie.  Hallmark movies featuring newbies frequently stink.

Laura Osnes

Osnes has starred in four Hallmark movies thus far:

Raise a Glass to Love

A Broadway star before being recruited by Hallmark, Osnes is a beautiful woman, a mega talented singer, and a delightful leading Hallmark actress.

Juan Pablo di Pace

Be still my beating corazón!  Di Pace isn't raw talent--he's been around for some time.  You may remember him as Nicholas Traviño from the reboot of Dallas in 2014, Fernando in Fuller House from 2016-2020, and most notably his role as Jesus in A.D. The Bible Continues in 2015, though he's starred in many other productions including Dancing with the Stars.

Di Pace was born in Argentina, just like his Marcelo character, and there is something dead sexy about Latino male actors.  Every time he looks at Jenna, he reeks passion and sensual appeal.

Want to see more of Di Paci?  Check out his salsa performance on Dancing with the Stars.

Unlike other Hallmark actors who have starred in so many movies they sometimes appear to be robotically going through the motions, Di Paci brings heat into his role.  When he excitedly shares the news with Jenna that he's buying a neighboring vineyard and desires to build the business with her as his sommelier, and then proceeds to confess his love for her, the intensity of his passion nearly devours her on-screen.  The man is HOT!  Let's hope Hallmark casts him again soon.

Did you know that Di Paci can sing too?  Here's a sample:

Matthew James Dowden

Dowden enjoyed supporting roles in Hallmark's A Brush with Love, Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Good Morning, Christmas! and Martha's Vineyard Mysteries, and could likely hold his own as a leading man.  In addition, he has written a children's book, Matthew the Magnificent, and he writes scripts for film and television--a versatile talent!  You can check out David Alves' interview with Dowden here.  


My Movie Rating

Raise a Glass to Love ranks in my top five favorite Hallmark movies so far for 2021.  I give it 5/5 stars. You can share your rating below.   

Find Us On Social Media! 

If you are a Hallmark movies fan, you can find us on a variety of social media platforms.  Our groups are unique because you are encouraged to share honest feedback on all movies.  Some groups function like thought police and will block you for not gushing about every movie and actor.  Our groups value freedom of speech.


  1. This is a wonderful movie and has on the top of my list of favorites. It just felt real and not scripted as alot of the movies do. Make some more like this one. These two actors were great together. LOVE IT!

  2. Absolutely loved it! Would like to see a sequel to the one. Chemistry between actors was great. I am a big fan of Hallmark movies. I would love to see Juan Pablo Di Pace in more movies on the channel he is the complete package. Well done!


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