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White Wine Poached Pears

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White wine poached pears make an elegant, delicious finale to any dinner! The light white wine adds a delicate flavor to the sweet pears, enhanced with a touch of star anise, vanilla, and lemon. Serve these on their own or top them with homemade salted caramel sauce for a scrumptious, exquisite dessert.

White wine poached pear covered with salted caramel sauce and flaky salt

Pears make a delicious after-dinner treat, whether they’re Roasted Pears with Mascarpone Cream or Baked Pears topped with granola and ricotta.

And yes, we will always love our Red Wine Poached Pears with Chocolate Ganache (and if you’re new to poached pears, that one is a must-try, too!). It is rich and decadent. Bold and chocolatey.

But these white wine poached pears are lighter and milder, delicate yet just as delicious.

Why this Recipe Works:

White wine poached pears are the after-dinner treat that works for any occasion, whether it’s a romantic date night in or a special dinner party with friends.

The white wine and vanilla bring out the sweet, fruity flavor of the pears. They’re delicious served naked or you can drizzle on our salted caramel sauce or butterscotch sauce for a little extra something special.

These easy poached pears are:

  • Simple to prepare with only eight ingredients required
  • An elegant after-dinner treat
  • Unique and scrumptious

The Ingredient List:

To make these white wine poached pears, you will need:

  • Pears, medium in size
  • Dry white wine
  • Water
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon, sliced
  • Vanilla bean, scraped
  • Star anise pods
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salted caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • Salt flakes and fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Ingredients for white wine poached pears with salted caramel sauce
Plate with 4 Bosc pears

How to make White Wine Poached Pears:

This poached pears recipe results in a delicious dessert that is fresh, fruity and so simple to make!

Here’s a quick look at the process (for the full recipe and ingredient amounts, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page).

  1. Prepare the poaching liquid: In a tall saucepan, combine the wine, water, lemon juice, lemon slices, vanilla and star anise. Boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Poach the pears: Peel the pears and slice a thin sliver off the bottom of each (don’t remove the stems). Place each pear on their sides into the boiling liquid and simmer. Transfer the pears to a bowl of ice water and pat them dry once they’ve cooled.
  3. Remove the cor from the poached pears: Use a paring knife and small spoon to cut and remove the core from the bottom of the pears. Chill them until ready to serve.
  4. Serve: White wine poached pears can be served naked or with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and a sprinkle of flaky salt. Garnish with fresh mint.

Some other sauces that would go well with these wine poached pears are chocolate sauce, white chocolate ganache, and the strawberry sauce that we used on our vanilla panna cotta.

Four White Wine Poached Pears in a dish
A wine poached pear showing how to removal of the core

Tips for Making Poached Pears:

  • For peeling the pears, a vegetable peeler works best. You can also use it to slice a thin layer off the bottom which will allow the pear to sit upright. Use a clean scrubby to “sand” the pear and remove the peel marks.
  • To prevent the pears from turning brown after peeling, add them to a bowl of water with the juice of one lemon or a tablespoon of citric acid.
  • Turn the pears frequently while they’re poaching as they have a tendency to float. Turn them with a silicone spoon or spatula so the fruit is not marred.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best wine for poaching pears?

For white wine poached pears, we like to use a dry white wine like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, champagne or semi-dry dessert wine.

Do you peel pears before poaching?

Yes, peel the pears with a vegetable peeler and then scrub them lightly to “sand” the pears and remove the peeler marks.

How long will poached pears keep in the fridge?

These poached pears will keep in the fridge for up to four days or longer, covered lightly with plastic wrap.

White Wine Poached Pear on a serving plate with a spoon
A serving of a White Wine Poached Pear with caramel sauce

White wine poached pears are a delicious, sophisticated dessert we can’t get enough of! We know you will will enjoy every bite of these sweet and tender pears. We can’t wait for you to try them.

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

These Dried Cherry Tarts are so good. Tart cherries and sweet, juicy pears make a delicious, jammy filling for these tarts. We add a touch of brandy to complement the cherries and wrap up everything in a lovely, buttery pie crust.

A dream of a dessert for any chocolate lover, these rich French dark chocolate truffles are decadent, smooth and creamy. They melt in your mouth and resemble the classic cocoa truffles in French chocolaterie shops.

Fresh pear cake has slices of sweet pear nestled in a tender spiced cake. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a crisp, buttery crumb topping is a simple recipe that’s extra special with the sweet flavor of pear.

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White wine poached pear covered with salted caramel sauce and flaky salt

White Wine Poached Pears

A simple white wine poached pear is a delicious finally to any dinner. Served naked or with a generous pour of salted caramel sauce it is a delightful dessert!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 527kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


  • 4 medium pears
  • 1 bottle 3 cups dry white wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ lemon sliced
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 8 oz. Salted Caramel Sauce


  • Salt Flakes
  • Fresh mint sprigs


  • In a large, tall saucepan, combine the wine, water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon slices, vanilla bean, and star anise.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, peel the pears, slice a thin sliver off the bottom of each pear.   Do not remove the stems.
  • Place the pears, lying on their sides into the hot liquid and reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • Poach the pears uncovered until they are barely tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes.  
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, transfer the pears to a bowl of ice water to stop their cooking.
  • When the pears are cool, pat them with a paper towel to remove moisture. 
  • With a small appetizer spoon and a paring knife, cut and remove the core from the bottom of each pear.  
  • Place the pears in a dish, drape the dish with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to serve.  
  • Serve either naked or with salted caramel sauce and a sprinkle with flaky salt.  Garnish each serving with a sprig of fresh mint.


  • A vegetable peeler works best for peeling the pears. Use it also on the bottom of the pear to level of the bottom which will enable the pear to sit upright.
  • After peeling the pear, use a clean scrubby to ‘sand’ the pear, removing the peeling marks.
  • To prevent the pears from discoloring after peeling, add them to a bowl of water with the juice of a lemon or a tablespoon of citric acid.
  • Choose a nice dry white wine such as a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio or try champagne or semi-dry dessert wine.
  • Options for spices can include cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, cardamom seeds/pods, or allspice.
  • The pears have a tendency to float so turning them frequently will ensure they poach evenly.
  • Use a silicone spoon or spatula to turn the pears so the fruit is not marred.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 130g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 158mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 118g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Friday 11th of February 2022

They look so good with that caramel sauce!

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