Photo of Red wine–poached pears by WW

Red wine–poached pears

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
10 hr 5 min
10 min
1 hr 55 min
Wine-poached pears are as classic and elegant as a simple black dress that never goes out of style. In this recipe, the pears are poached in a delicious red-wine mixture until tender enough to be easily pierced with a paring knife. It requires just six ingredients, one of which is water. You have to let the pears marinate at least overnight, or you can leave them in the fridge for up to 4 days, and the flavors get more concentrated as time goes on. You can have a bag of the pears ready to go whenever you need a sweet treat to end your day.


Merlot red wine

1½ cup(s), or Cabernet Sauvignon


¼ cup(s)

Lemon zest

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

Cinnamon stick(s)

1 item(s), (3-inch)


1 cup(s)

Raw Bartlett pear(s)

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


  1. In a saucepan just large enough to hold pears, combine wine, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, and water 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. Simmer pears, covered, turning occasionally, until evenly colored and tender when pierced with knife, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a bowl. Pour poaching liquid through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium saucepan. Discard solids. Bring liquid to a boil and cook until syrupy and reduced to 1⁄2 cup, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer pears to a large zip- top plastic bag. Add cooled syrup. Squeeze out air from bag and seal. Gently turn bag to coat pears. In a large bowl, place bag with pears and refrigerate, turning bag several times, at least overnight or for up to 4 days. To serve, place pears on dessert plates and spoon syrup over top.
  5. Serving size: 1 pear and about 1 tbsp syrup