Thinly peel the pears with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, leaving the stalks intact.
Pour the wine and cranberry juice into a large heavy pan. Add the orange zest, cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf and sugar. Heat gently, stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears, standing them upright in the pan. Pour in enough cold water to barely cover them.
Cover and cook gently for 20–30 minutes until just tender, turning and basting with the syrup occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift the pears out of the syrup and transfer to a serving dish.
Bring the syrup to the boil, and boil rapidly for 10–15 minutes until it has reduced by half. Strain the syrup and pour over the pears. Serve.