New York: The trial of Indonesian-born wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan opens in New York on Monday with prosecutors accusing him of masterminding a wildly lucrative fraud involving ordinary bottles passed off as expensive vintages.

The 37-year-old enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one of the world's most influential dealers of rare wines before his arrest, raking in millions of dollars which bankrolled a lavish lifestyle.

Prosecutors say Mr Kurniawan's taste for the trappings of luxury – he owned a fleet of vehicles including a Lamborghini, a large collection of contemporary artwork and several Philippe Patek watches – was built on a lie.

Instead of rare vintages, Mr Kurniawan is accused of often selling store-bought wine which had been re-bottled using either fake labels or genuine ones from empty bottles.

One part of the prosecution's indictment involves an alleged attempt by Mr Kurniawan to sell 97 bottles of what he said was wine from the acclaimed Domaine Ponsot winery in Burgundy, France, at a 2008 auction in New York.

The sale, worth between $US440,000 ($485,700) and $US602,000, was abruptly halted at the last minute after problems with the lot became obvious. One bottle was dated 1929 when the domaine only began bottling in 1934.

Mr Kurniawan is also accused of selling counterfeit wines at two 2006 auctions in New York which respectively netted him $US10.6 million and a record $US24.7 million.

One collector is alleged to have paid $US12,925 for a fake bottle of Romanee-Conti.

Mr Kurniawan denies charges of mail fraud and wire fraud. Prosecutors have alleged a mass of incriminating evidence was discovered during a 2012 raid on his home in Arcadia, near Los Angeles.

AFP