Cut a thin slice off the bottom of the pears so they can stand upright when it comes to plating/serving them.
Place lemon peel, lemon juice, red wine, water, sugar, vanilla, star anise and bay leaves in a medium-size pot and stir to combine.
Add pears (don’t worry if they fall on their sides), cover and bring to a gentle boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour or until the pears are tender and a gorgeous ruby-red colour. Swirl the pot around a few times during cooking so that the pears move around a bit and get covered in the red wine.
Carefully remove pears from the syrup and set aside.
Boil the syrup for 5-10 minutes until it is sticky and reduced.
Serve pears with a dollop of mascarpone, Greek yoghurt or ice cream, and a couple of tablespoons of syrup drizzled over the top.