2 cups dry white wine
3/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice (a.k.a. organic sugar)
your choice of spices (see below)
4 firm pears, peeled, stems intact (e.g. Forelle)
Spices (choose 2 or 3)
2-3 slices fresh ginger
2-3 star anise
1 split vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp cardamom pods, cracked
1/4 tsp saffron threads
Combine wine, sugar, lemon and spices in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Add pears and enough water to submerge pears completely. Cover pears with a circle of parchment paper the width of the pot, with a whole cut in the centre. Simmer, turning occasionally, until pears are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. (Make ahead:
Cool and cover. Refrigerate pears in poaching liquid for up to 3 days.)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a wire rack to drain. Bring poaching liquid to a boil and reduce to about 1 cup, until syrupy and mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 10-15 minutes.
Serve pears drizzled with syrup. Alternatively, mix syrup with Greek yogourt and add dollop to a shallow dish; perch one pear on top of sweetened yogourt; sprinkle with cinnamon.