Translation:Your wife thought that you like beer.
That's the sequence of tenses in standard English -- after a verb in the past, the verbs in a "that" clause are shifted one step into the past. (e.g. present to past, past to past perfect). The "official" sentence is technically incorrect, but admittedly in wide use, so will be (if not already is) an acceptable variant.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_of_tenses#English - the difference between the attracted and the natural sentence. Interesting that one of them is called 'natural', actually... ;) OK, those are very dependent on the context, but luckily we don't have context here at Duolingo, so we can easily use the natural version in (almost?) every sentence. In this one it definitely makes more sense to use the natural one, because as I said, "I generally like beer".
Gosh, why does English have to complicate things so much...
Thanks for the article. I think that grammar in any language is a constantly shape-shifting monster which makes it even more slippery to get to grips with :-). I know my formidable English teacher at school wouldn't have tolerated the "natural" sequence of tenses and that even wikipedia would have withered under his gaze :-) but as he's no longer with us I'm willing to go along with it :-) By the way lol at English complicating things...
I don't know if there is a formal English rule against this, but in commonly spoken English, when one says "I was thinking that...", or similar constructs, such as, "I was saying that...", or, "I was noticing that...", what follows "that" is past tense if what I thought, or said, or noticed, etc., does not happen now. But if it's something that still happens now, it can be present tense.
For example, "What were you thinking we should get to go with dinner?" "Well, I was thinking that you like (present tense) beer, and so do I, so let's get a six-pack." "Great, who is going to get it?" "Yesterday, Joe was telling me that you drive (present tense) and that you have (present tense) a car, so how about you?" "Wait, you misremember, and Joe is an idiot. I only drink wine, and i don't drive." "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you liked (past tense) beer. And like Joe, I also thought that you had (past tense) a car and drove (past tense)."
You'll notice that all these present tense verbs describe something that you did in the past, and that you still do today. But if the action you are noting happened in the past, and you are not trying to imply that it still happens, then you use a past tense to describe it. For example, "But I thought that you were driving (past continuous) yesterday, no?"