There's nothing inherently ridiculous about a $300 bottle of wine from Napa Valley. Colgin, Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Hundred Acre and others I'm probably not thinking of sell wines in that price range already.
But there's a big difference between those wines and Yao Ming's: the others come from specific vineyards. Yao Ming's comes from grapes bought off the bulk market, the same as Smoking Loon or Ravenswood or anything else you might see in the supermarket for $10. And Ravenswood's bulk-grape buyers have been at it longer than Yao Ming, so the next time you buy a bottle of Ravenswood Vintners Blend, tell your friends, "This could sell for $289 in China!"
To be fair, Yao Ming probably paid more per ton for the grapes, though we don't know that. Wine Spectator Online, in a fawning story, reports: "The winery currently sources grapes from several Napa Valley vineyards, including Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Tourmaline Vineyard and Broken Rock Vineyard." None of those are considered Grand Cru material, and we don't even know if they are the only vineyards sourced from. It's Napa Cabernet, it's $289, that's all you need to know.
And you know what? It's not even the Yao Family Reserve! That's due out later this year; who knows what he'll charge his countrymen for that one.
As a California resident, I guess I'm happy about this: we're repackaging our lesser-quality agricultural products at high prices. Hurray for Yao Ming!