In a saucepan large enough to hold the pears, combine the wine, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and cardamom. Cook, uncovered,* over medium heat to a gentle boil. Add the peeled pears. Return liquid just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered,* for 6 to 7 minutes or until pears are just fork-tender. Let the pears cool in the poaching liquid, turning, if necessary, to be sure all sides are moistened.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a serving dish. Strain poaching liquid. Serve the pears slightly warm, at room temperature, or chilled, with the poaching liquid spooned over. If desired, surround the serving dish with cranberries. Accompany with cheese wedges. Makes 8 servings.