1. Peel pears, leaving them whole and stems intact. Slice off the bases so the pears will stand upright. Use an apple corer to remove cores, if desired, working from the base up.
2. Place the pears on their sides in a large 3- or 4-quart saucepan or small Dutch oven. Pour pomegranate juice and wine over the pears. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 30 to 45 minutes. Turn very gently once or twice as they cook so they color evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a shallow bowl and set aside.
3. Boil the poaching liquid over high heat until the sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toast almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until light golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
5. To serve, spoon 1 tablespoon sauce onto each of 4 dessert plates. Place a pear upright on each plate. Drizzle remaining sauce over each pear. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds around the pears and top with the almonds. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt) and a bay leaf.