I rarely cook with alcohol. And I don't drink it at all. So alcohol is seldom in my house to cook with.
I like some red wine in Italian Tomato sauce, but rarely bother as a good sauce can be made without it.
I like to simmer brats in onions and beer. But rarely bother and brats are good in many ways without beer. And thinned apple juice with a bit of lemon and Angostura bitters makes a good simmering liquid for brats too along with the onions.
I like the xiao shing wine in chinese dishes. Here I always use wine.
And for a dish where wine is the focus, Veal/chix Marsala, well wine is necessary.
I use beer and wine when the recipe calls for those ingredients. A good stew can often be improved by the addition of a dark ale or porter. A casserole often needs the 'oomph' of a generous glug of wine. Some gravies call out for wine. I also use a lot of cider (I think Americans call it hard cider, ie the alcoholic stuff) when cooking pork.
More seriously... What ever you use, just remember the first rule of cooking with any beer/wine/liquor Don't cook with what ya can't/wouldn't/shouldn't drink and if ya don't drink at all ask someone that does. After the alcohol is burned off all you're left with is the flavor.
I use all forms of libations in my cooking. It just gives that litlle bit extra...:lips:
Learn to cook with inexpensive good tasting wine. There are plenty available. Besides any great wine should be drunk unless you just want to throw away your money. I did make a red cabbage dish with a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that turned bad (semi bad). So much for that $300.00 bottle. But the cabbage tasted great with a duck stock and the wine.
I think that, over time, I must have cooked using nearly every variety of alcohol available. Most of the Italian meals I prepare include wine as a part of the recipe and, of course, at the dinner table. I've even used wine in puddings. German recipes that I prepare often get a shot of wine, or beer, and I use cognac in my bouillabaisse. Cooking does not, of course, remove all of the alcohol but the amount of alcohol remaining is so small that it doesn't rate for quantification. Red sauces for Italian dishes are, almost universally (IMHO) incomplete without wine in the recipe.
Your question, "Does it depend on what your making or does it depend on the type of taste you are trying to aquire?" left me cold. I can't remember the last time I used a "recipe" and followed it precisely, and every "recipe" is intended to produce a "taste" (flavor) that pleases the individual or guest(s).