IMHO, wine as an indredient adds a layer of flavor to most dishes. As for choices for dishes, many wine shop employees are very good cooks, and most know wines and food. For starters, take their advice. I generally use a wine in the 6-9 dollar range, and always taste the wine prior to using. My worst kitchen disaster had to do with making a wine sauce for a prime rib without first tasting the bottle. Always taste the wine and try to visualize what it will add to the result you are trying to accomplish. The wine should be one you would drink with the dish, not necessarily the one you will serve with the dish. My starting points: Sherry, not creme sherry, with any creme dish. Heavy cabs or cab blends with beef . Pork can handle spicier or slightly sweeter wines, white or red. Seafoods depend on the preparation. Sweeter wines with asian dishes. These are just starting points. The wine choice depends at least as much on the preparation as the ingredients. A grilled pork chop would be different from one prepared in a fruit sauce All these wines can be purchased reasonably. I would suggest you try tasting the wine at the table with the dish. You may enjoy it. Storing the leftover has never been a problem with me, but if it was, I would freeze if in ice cube trays and store in plastic bags. The absolute best advice, never buy a cooking wine.