Step 1. In a saucepan large enough to hold the pears standing upright, combine the wine, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon, bay leaves, and star anise, mix well, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and bring to a low boil over medium heat.
Step 2. Add the pears, stems up, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, turning the pears occasionally so they cook evenly until they are tender.
Step 3. Let the pears cool, then refrigerate for 24 hours in the syrup.
To serve, divide the pears among shallow bowls and spoon some of their syrup over them.