Danby Silhouette DWC1534BLS Wine Refrigerator Review

Danby Silhouette DWC1534BLS Wine Cellar – A Flexible, Attractive Wine Refrigerator, but is it for the Serious Wine Drinker?

7 out of 10
$700

Attention! All you kitchen renovators looking to fill the 15″ space left by outdated trash compactors, the Danby Silhouette DWC1534BLS Wine Cellar is designed for just that. Its front venting and dimensions allow it to be “built-in” to just such a space, although it’s flexible enough to be used as a freestanding unit if that’s what you desire.

Note: Although its called a wine cellar (and it is since you store wine in it), don’t confuse it with a long-term storage device,  it is better described as a wine cooler or wine refrigerator.

The Danby Silhouette DWC1534BLS wine refrigerator stores 34 standard bottles (bordeaux-style, 750 milliliter), so if you prefer wine that comes in wider bottles (burgundy-style) like Chardonnay, or large-format bottles like Magnums, expect it to be less. Unlike cheap wine coolers that come with wavy wire racks, this cooler’s racks (6) are flat and slide out and are accented with stainless steel facades. 

Getting a bottle of wine out of a wine refrigerator stuffed to capacity is a major pain in the neck making racks that pull out extremely advantageous. In addition flat racks make the storage of non-standard wine bottles less problematic. However, buyers of this product seem to like using this unit as a second refrigerator or beverage center to store beer, soda, and (sacrilege!) milk and cheese.

Note: Just a general warning for those that simply want a second refrigerator – get a second refrigerator not a wine refrigerator. You don’t want to store your wine with food, especially food with strong odors (i.e. onions, garlic), because these odors can work their way into the wine through the cork changing its taste. You also don’t want to store your wine with fermented foods or foods likely to ferment (i.e. cheese, fruit, vegetables), anything with its own yeasts can wreak havoc with a wine’s chemistry.

The Danby Silhouette DWC1534BLS wine refrigerator has a compressor-based cooling system just like a typical kitchen refrigerator used to store milk and eggs, and it works very well for that purpose, but not for storing wine. A compressor-based cooling system creates temperature fluctuations especially during a defrost cycle. Most modern refrigerators are frost free or have automatic defrost cycles and this wine cooler is no different, which means its temperature is constantly going up and down by several degrees (a wine storage no no). Danby, however, claims it has a unique defrost system that reduces temperature fluctuations (but does not eliminate them). 

The alternative to a compressor-based system is a thermoelectric cooling system which can produce a steady temperature. However, it’s rare to find a thermoelectric system that can cool below 40°F. This wine refrigerator doesn’t have that problem, its temperature range is 39°F (4°C) to 64°F (8°C) which is great if you want to serve white wine and Champagne.

A great temperature range doesn’t matter if you don’t have precise temperature control. That’s not a problem with this unit, which has a digital display and controls. Temperature can be set in 1° degree increments (either °F or °C) and the electronic display shows current cabinet temperature and set temperature (see Danby Silhouette DWC1534BLS Owner’s Manual).

Who’s it for? The Danby Silhouette DWC1534BLS Wine Cellar is flexible so an outdated trash compactor is not necessary in order to purchase it. This unit has a nice set of features (if you like a variety of wines, a dual zone is always better), but forgets the basics and  comes with a hefty price tag. If you’re willing to shell out more than $500 for a wine refrigerator, you’re either very serious about your wine or the look of your kitchen, or both.

If you’re serious about wine, most of your wine probably comes with a cork (as most valuable wine does). Cork seals do not like temperature fluctuations, and serious wine drinkers do not like oxidized wine. So if this unit goes perfectly with your kitchen, don’t keep expensive wine in it for more than a few weeks or simply stick to wine bottles with twist caps.

Temperature Range
10/10
Price per Bottle
4/10
Wine Protection
6/10
Energy Consumption
4/10
Wine Racks
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Noise
4/10
Temperature Control
10/10
Appearance
8/10
Use of Space
10/10

Pros

  • Front Venting and Unit Dimensions allow it to be “Built-In” – an Excellent Use of Space
  • Temperature Range of 39°F (4°C) to 64°F (8°C)
  • Digital Temperature Display and Control
  • 6 Flat, Slide-Out Wine Racks
  • Tempered Glass Door with Tinting for extra Ultra-Violet Light Protection
  • Magnetic Door Seals – Poor Door Seals are the Bane of Cheap Wine Refrigerators
  • Child-Proof Lock with Key
  • Nice Appearance – Stainless Steel Facades, Cool blue LED track lighting system to illuminate the interior
  • Reversible hinge for left or right hand opening
  • Warranty – 2 Year Parts and Labor

Cons

  • Compressor-Based Cooling System which causes,
  • Temperature Fluctuations, Very Bad for Wine Storage
  • Noise from Compressor Turning Off and On
  • Vibrations, Also Bad for Wine Storage
  • Not Cheap – Price per Bottle = $20.59, based on average price per unit of $700)