The pears, with their hint of wine, cinnamon, and rosemary, go equally well with roasted meats or cooked beans such as black-eyed peas, or they can be served for dessert, alone or with ice cream, cake, or cookies.
- 10 firm pears such as Red Bartlett or Bosc (about 3 1/2 pounds)
- 1 fifth Merlot
- 3 cups red wine vinegar
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 cinnamon sticks, each about 4 inches long
Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact. Set aside.
Combine the wine, vinegar, sugar, rosemary, and cinnamon in a stainless-steel or other nonreactive pan large enough to hold all the whole pears eventually. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring often, until a thin syrup forms, about 5 minutes.
Using a slotted utensil, slip the pears into the boiling syrup. Reduce the heat to medium and gently boil the pears, turning them in the syrup, until just barely cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them to the point where they become mushy.
Using a slotted utensil, transfer the pears to clean, dry jars with sealable lids. To pack the pears, make a layer of pears, standing them upright, then add a second layer of pears, inverting them, to maximize the space. Ladle in the hot syrup, including the cinnamon sticks, to cover the pears completely and to fill the jars to within one-half inch of the rims.
Using a damp cloth, wipe the rims clean. Cover with the lids and process for 1 hour in a hot-water bath.
Remove the jars and let them cool for 12 hours or overnight. Check for complete seals.
Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place. The pears will keep for up to 1 year. Once opened, keep refrigerated. Store any jar lacking a complete seal in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.