1.Place sugar, wine, water, cinnamon and lemon rind into a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly reduced.
2.Meanwhile, peel pears and, using a small sharp knife, remove cores from underside of pears.
3.Lower pears into poaching liquid and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until tender, turning pears occasionally during cooking so they colour evenly.
4.Transfer pears to a heated plate and cover to keep warm. Boil the remaining liquid for about 10 minutes or until it becomes syrupy. Serve pears with syrupy red wine sauce and ice-cream or double cream, if desired.