Red Wine–Poached Pears

Total Time
9 hr
5 min
55 min
Wine-poached pears are a classic and elegant as a simple black dress that never goes out of style. In this recipe, the pears are poached in a flavorful red-wine mixture until tender enough to be easily pierced with a paring knife.


Merlot red wine

1½ cup(s), (dry red wine), or cabernet sauvignon


1 cup(s)


¼ cup(s)

lemon zest

2 strip(s), (3 inches each), removed with vegetable peeler

cinnamon stick(s)

1 item(s), (3-inch)

raw Bartlett pear(s)

6 medium, (5 ounces each), firm-ripe, or Bosc pears with stems


  1. Combine wine, water, sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick in saucepan just large enough to hold pears and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove saucepan from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving stems intact. Add pears to wine mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, turning pears occasionally, until evenly colored and tender when pierced with knife, about 30 minutes.
  3. With slotted spoon, transfer pears to large bowl. Pour poaching liquid through fine sieve set over medium saucepan; discard solids. Bring liquid to boil. Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Carefully transfer pears to large zip-close plastic bag. Add cooled syrup. Squeeze out most of air and seal bag. Gently turn bag to coat pears. Place bag with pears in large bowl and refrigerate at least overnight or up to 4 days, turning bag several times.
  5. To serve, place pears on dessert plates and spoon syrup over.
  6. Per serving: 1 pear and about 1 tablespoon syrup

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