My Weekend

Wine reviewer Ch'ng Poh Tiong goes for boxing or muay thai classes on Saturdays.
Wine reviewer Ch'ng Poh Tiong goes for boxing or muay thai classes on Saturdays.PHOTO: NANA

Mr Ch'ng Poh Tiong, 59, is the publisher of The Wine Review, a wine publication that has been around since 1991, and the Chinese Bordeaux Guide in 2000.

The art collector launched his book, My Friendship With Singapore's Greatest Painter, earlier this week. The book, which is about artist Tan Swie Hian, costs $98 and will be available from Monday at major bookstores here.

He lives in a conservation house on Spottiswoode Park Road with his wife Tina Koh, 39, a housewife, their eight-year-old daughter and their cat Bon Bon.

What are some of your weekend routines?

A dim sum lunch on Sunday with my extended family, including the grandmothers on both sides of the family, is mandatory.

We usually go to Jade Palace at Forum The Shopping Mall or Imperial Treasure at 100 AM.

After lunch, I take my daughter to her art class at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

I sit out the 90 minutes at Ya Kun with one or two cups of teh-o, writing wine columns for Decanter UK and La Revue du vin de France China as well as tasting notes for FairPrice, where I have been wine consultant for 15 years.

What is one thing you do on the weekend that would surprise people?

On Saturdays, I box or do muay thai at the Evolve MMA outlet in Far East Square. I have been going there for nearly four years.

As a young boy, I watched boxing matches with my father on television.

I started going to Evolve when I saw an advertisement in a woman's magazine and went for a trial session four years ago.

I like that both sports are mental as much as they are physical. Every move you make - whether to attack or defend - makes you think.

Describe a memorable weekend you have had.

I was in France two weeks ago and I drove from my home in the Var in the south of France to Monaco to view an art exhibition titled From Chagall To Malevitch.

It featured avant-garde Russian paintings painted between the 1900s and 1930s. It was a treasure trove of truly stunning paintings. I felt uplifted leaving the exhibitions.

Great art, to me, confronts, contests and ultimately inspires.

If you could live in someone's shoes for one weekend, who would it be and why?

I would be Mozart's best friend. He was able to coax and conjure music out of every conceivable instrument.

To be close to one of the greatest geniuses of mankind and to better understand his personality would be an unimaginable privilege.

One thing I would do as his best friend would be to introduce him to the Chinese qin.

What is a good weekend to you?

One when I see a smile on my daughter's face and hear her laughter. This, and lunch with her two grandmothers.

Deborah Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2015, with the headline 'MyWeekend'. Print Edition | Subscribe