The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

#TBT Recipe: Pears Poached in Merlot

Way, way, back in the beginning of this blog I used to do pro football predictions.   To tie it in with the site, I also spun a fruit or vegetable to pick winners of the games.    Don’t laugh – those essentially random predictions often beat a panel of ESPN experts.   If I chose more winners than the produce, I would feature it in a recipe or two.

Since very few people read the blog back then, I figured I’d repost the recipes now to a wider audience of ten.   And yes, I know it’s a lazy way to fill up space.   I’m only posting the recipes, but if you need help with filling out a fantasy football lineup, I’m there for you.

This week, a dessert recipe that is both beautiful and delicious.  

Pears Poached in Merlot
Pear plated

Pictured with wine used for poaching – 181 Merlot from Lodi. Disappointing for drinking, great for cooking.

This is a recipe I got a long time ago from a friend, Dr. John La Puma.  I’ve modified it over the years, but it’s generally the same idea.  I really should write a separate post about him some time, because he’s got a great story.  Briefly, he was a doctor in Chicago that went back and went to culinary school and did some time at Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo.  He created C.H.E.F. Clinic (Cooking, Healthy Eating, and Fitness) which was devoted to educating patients about healthy eating and wellness.  Since then he’s written several books and is often on TV.  Check him out at or

I tell you all this a) to name drop on you and b) because his original version was pretty healthy and low calorie; it didn’t have the sugar and resulting syrup as mine does.  The sweetness in his came from a honeyed yogurt.  I think I lost the original recipe, but if it turns up I’ll post it.

–       2 cups Merlot or other big fruity, but dry, California wine

–       ¼ cup sugar

–       zest of an orange – use a big piece instead of using a zester. It’ll keep the sauce cleaner.

–       cinnamon stick

–       6 cloves

–       4 pears, firmer the better

1.     Bring everything but the pears to a simmer.

2.       While that’s going, peel the pears up to the stem (leave stem on).  Slice off a small piece off the bottom of the pears so they stand up.

3.      Put the pears in the pan on their sides, cover the pan, and gently simmer for about 15 minutes.  Flip them around every few minutes so they’re evenly cooked and colored.

4.      Stand them up and let them cool. Chill the whole pan in the fridge for a few hours.

5.      Remove them from the pan and simmer the liquid gently until it becomes a syrup.  Pour over the pears.

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

7 comments on “#TBT Recipe: Pears Poached in Merlot

  1. threadsandvino
    October 1, 2015

    Omg that looks amazing!!

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      October 1, 2015

      Thanks! It tastes pretty good, too! And if you take it easy on the syrup, it’s pretty healthy

  2. Duff's Wines
    October 1, 2015

    One of my favourite things is pears, John. I had a digestion in Spain ;last month that ended with poached pears served with hazelnut ice cream. Fabulous! Thanks for the recipe. I’m using it for Thanksgiving.

  3. Duff's Wines
    October 1, 2015

    I meant Degustacion – a tasting. Hate autocorrect sometimes.

  4. Michelle Williams
    October 1, 2015


  5. Pingback: Celebrate #MerlotMe with #WinePW | ROCKIN RED BLOG

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2015 by in Cooking and tagged , , , , .
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