If your just looking to cook with wine, take the advice of your friends favorites or the flavor notes on the back of the bottle. Please don't use or buy "cooking wine" because they have salt in them and it will make it hard for you to balance the taste when you can't control the salt in the wine.
Leave wine snobbery to the "experts" if your just looking for a "take home" bottle suite your own tastes! If you want to wine taste and/or food pair wine, do what the experts do, "SPIT!". Wine tasting and/or judging was not developed for you to swallow every sample...but to narrow it down to the best! And then maybe enjoy a glass with dinner or special occasion.