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Friday, August 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 75.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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André's top five tips for the 2013 Isthmus Food & Wine Festival
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André: Ask questions, don't just skim the surface.
André: Ask questions, don't just skim the surface.
Credit:Narayan Mahon

Got your ticket to the Isthmus Food & Wine Festival? Great! Not yet? You can purchase tickets online!

Here is how to party like a pro:

5. Review the line-up.
Make a note of what you want to see, as well as top vendor exhibits you want to visit.

4. Ready the smartphone or bring a pen for note taking.
Taking notes is key to absorbing all of the new information you'll be getting. There's nothing worse than getting home afterwards and not remembering a cheese or a wine you discovered and loved. Also, grab business cards and check out what's in the swag bag -- maybe you'll want to follow up later!

3. Pace yourself.
Food and wine festivals are not races. Engaging with the flavors and sensations of exceptional foods and drinks takes time. If you slow down you'll have a better, less frenzied experience, and won't feel exhausted or overwhelmed.

2. It's not about getting soused.
Over-consumption hinders your tasting, talking, and savoring experience. The festival is for exploring new things and reveling in the glorious pleasures of what food and drink have to offer. Be sure to stay hydrated with water to balance your salt and alcohol intake.

1. Engage with chefs, winemakers, artisan producers, and other festival guests!
Ask questions, don't just skim the surface. The most memorable moments won't necessarily be something you consume; they'll often be a result of the people you meet. One great conversation can enrich and alter how you approach food and drink forever!

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