Tailor this recipe to your own tastes: always cook with whichever wine you like to drink, and trade out the cardamom for fresh or dried ginger.
Wherever you land, however, enjoy your gorgeous pears with the contrasting flavors and textures of mascarpone cheese, pound cake, or gingerbread cookies as garnish.
1. Toast the cinnamon sticks and cardamom in a dry pan over medium heat. When the fragrances start to waft from the pot, pour in the wine, and increase the heat to high.
2. As the liquid comes to a boil, prepare the pears. Peel, and then cut each pear in half. Scoop out the seeds and hard center parts with a melon baller. Place the pears, cut side down, on a cutting board; slice the round portion of the pear into thin lines, while making sure it stay intact.
3. Drop the pears into the wine; reduce to low heat. Simmer until tender, between 10-20 minutes, depending upon the ripeness of the pears.
4. Serve the pears warm, preferably over ice cream with a drizzle of honey on top.