In a saucepan of boiling water, cook the peaches for 5 minutes or until the peel easily detaches. Cool in an ice bath. Drain and remove the peels from the peaches. Set aside.
In the same saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, wine, vanilla seeds and pod, and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the peaches and cook for about 20 minutes, depending on ripeness, stirring occasionally, or until tender to the tip of a knife.
Place the peaches in a bowl and cover with the hot syrup. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until completely chilled.
Ask your grocer for freestone peaches that separate easily from their pits.
To make white wine-poached pears, first peel and core the pears.