[image-1] We love a solid mid-week party, one where the guests throw caution to the wind and pretend they don’t, in fact, have work in the morning. One where top Charleston chefs are elbow to elbow — literally — with each other, turning out small plates that even in a moody, neon haze shine, ceviche glistening like gold.
[content-5] Last night’s Wine + Food opening party was all of that, with Andrea Upchurch’s London fog cremeux quite literally the cream of the crop — and one of the only stations that one could easily find their way to.

We sipped Home Team BBQ bartender Anna Lazardis’ winning cocktail, “A Fine How Do You Do,” the rye burning every so slightly. The Majestics band played danceable tunes (and singable, if you’re brave enough to belt out “Proud Mary” high notes in a crowd). Everyone’s giddy, running into old friends or co-workers or media allies, screaming “hey!” over the roar of everyone else screaming “hey!” [image-3] It makes sense, the revelry to be had on a frigid Wednesday night in Marion Square — we’re celebrating food and wine and the industry that brings world-traveling denizens to our fair city.

So I understand the temptation to go all in, to let your wine glass slosh onto the dark carpet, accidentally knock someone’s purple yam and duck leg croquette to the same stained floor.

But just because we know how to party, that doesn’t mean we have to act like party animals. Here’s one photo from last night: [image-2] Now, this is not atypical of Wine + Food, or any festival. Shit happens. Trashcans get full, volunteers have to fight the crowds to change out bags, people, plain and simple, get lost in the sauce.

We can try a little harder, though. I know we can. That pile of dirty plates and forks that someone had to get on their hands and knees to shovel into a trash bag — let’s avoid that. Can’t find a waste receptacle? Hold onto your little plates until you do!

It’s a marginal pain in the ass, but it’s also common courtesy to not chuck trash into a half-open bag as a volunteer/worker attempts to do damage control.
[content-1] As we look ahead to the next four days, let’s just keep in mind that celebration doesn’t have to come at a cost — take some notes from our cover this week if you need help.

Be mindful, raise a glass, check in with yourself, and treat workers and volunteers like the fabulous helpers (and humans!) they are. It only takes a second. 

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