Here at Union Wine Co., we put great emphasis on the individuality of all our employees and try hard to encourage and support their personal interests and goals. Recently, one of the newest members of our sales team, Patrizio Zarate-Zambrano, admitted to being an avid and accomplished home cook.
Patrizio’s original passion was for acting (he even had a role in a Spanish Soap Opera!) but over the years found himself attracted to travel and other pursuits. He has lived all over Europe but was raised in Madrid in a home constantly bustling with friends and relatives. Every holiday, his mother would fill the kitchen with food to entertain their many guests, and one of her staple desserts was red wine poached pears. She would make them every year and it quickly became a highly requested tradition by everyone who visited.
Patrizio has evolved his mother’s recipe to include the Underwood Pinot Noir, because he says the combination of tannins and fruit forward flavor work perfectly to complement the aromatic spices as well as the sweetness the pears.
Pinot Poached Pears
4 Bosc pears. Not overly ripe or too soft.
1 bottle of Underwood Pinot Noir
1 star anise
2 cinnamon stick
2 long strips of orange peel
½ cup of sugar
4 or 5 cardamom pods (optional)
Combine all ingredients (except the pears) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for ten minutes. While simmering, peel the pears, cut in half and hollow out seeds with a melon baller or paring knife.
Place the pears into the poaching liquid, reduce heat to low, simmering for about 20 minutes. Try and turn the pears every 5 minutes so that they cook and color evenly.
Pears will be ready when cooked through but still firm.
Let the pears cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for three hours. During refrigeration time, turn the pears often to ensure an even coating.
Place the pears on serving plates. Put the poaching liquid back on the stove, bring to a boil, and reduce it to a syrupy consistency. Let the liquid cool and strain while gently drizzling the pears. For an even better result, serve with vanilla ice cream, vanilla/whipped mascarpone cheese or cool whip.
Patrizio Zarate-Zambrano brings with him a deep passion for wine and an extensive knowledge of the industry that spans the globe. With family from both Spain and Italy, he has lived all across Europe. Now residing in Cincinnati, although the scenery may have changed, his home is always filled with delicious food and great wine. When he’s not cooking or playing racquetball, he’s out walking with his two beloved rescue dogs.
Photography by David L. Reamer