Maggiano's Little Italy(R) Franchise Invites You to Drink, Salute and Win!

Italian Restaurant Celebrates Introduction of Private Label, Salute Amico ("Cheers Friend" in Italian) with Gifts, Prizes and VIP Tastings

DALLAS /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The arrival of a new exclusive signature wine, Salute Amico has Maggiano's Little Italy(R) guests raising glasses and making a toast to celebrate and win! With the arrival of the new wine, produced and bottled by the world-renowned Ruffino winery in Tuscany, Italy, Maggiano's is launching a drawing in celebration. Restaurants across the U.S. are also offering wine samples for less than the cost of a postage stamp, at 25 cents. The new wine, which is available only in Maggiano's restaurants, is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend that pairs nicely with many Maggiano's menu offerings.

"At Maggiano's we are very passionate about wine and can't think of anything more exciting than offering our very own private label, Italian wine from a renowned, first-class winery," said Edithann Ramey, director of marketing for Maggiano's Little Italy. "Created especially for us, it was named Salute Amico or 'Cheers Friend,' because at Maggiano's we celebrate the love of family and friends."

To launch the wine, where permitted, Maggiano's restaurants nationwide are offering 2-ounce samples of Ruffino Salute Amico Wednesday, April 28, 2010 for just 25 cents. In addition, guests can enter a drawing at Maggianos.com, for a chance to win one of twenty, $150 Maggiano's gift certificates. The drawing runs until May 4, 2010.

Making the offer even tastier; guests can visit Maggianos.com for a coupon to receive a free flatbread (Margherita Flatbread, Pepperoni & Arugula Flatbread or Chicken & Roasted Pepper Flatbread) with the purchase of a glass or bottle of the new Ruffino Salute Amico. The coupon is valid through June 30, 2010.

Maggiano's is capitalizing on a hot new trend, driven by guests' need for new and exciting wines by well-known wineries. Private label wines have gained in popularity against bigger, branded wines for years, according to recent industry data. The fact that Maggiano's secured an exclusive offering from the Ruffino family is a testament to their long relationship with the winemaking company and their confidence that this vintage is the perfect fit for the high end Italian restaurant.

About Maggiano's Little Italy

Maggiano's Little Italy specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano's menu features both classic and contemporary recipes - authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano's 45 locations worldwide offer lunch and dinner, delivery, carryout service and banquet spaces for special occasions. Maggiano's is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, with more than 1,700 restaurants in 29 countries and two territories.

Other Brinker restaurant brands include Chili's(R) Grill & Bar and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina(R). Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill(R).

About Ruffino

With its long history, Ruffino is a living symbol of the quality progress which the entire Italian wine sector has undertaken through the twentieth century. Ruffino's production philosophy is based on two leading concepts: The quality of its wines and the expression of the territories where these wines are produced - a winemaking art which Ruffino has refined throughout the decades. With the desire to bring the best quality the Tuscan territory has to offer to wine lovers all over the world, Ruffino has contributed significantly to the creation of the fine image which Italian winemaking holds on the international wine scene today. Chianti Ruffino, followed by Riserva Ducale, was one of the very first wines to cross the Italian border and introduce Italian wine to the world. Present in over 85 countries covering 5 continents, Ruffino is an international leader of great wines "Made in Italy!"

SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy

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