You don't need to type the nikkud. They show us niqqud in some words only for didactic reasons.
I reported it weeks ago but I still got marked "almost correct" today because of no nikkud.
Yes, "almost correct" does mean you're wrong; (but you're close to being correct). Duolingo just puts in the vowels when two different words are spelled the same way, so that we students can tell what the difference is between the two words. But, almost no one using this site has the ability to type Hebrew vowels; and they're not necessary in Hebrew, anyway. (I also think that on the Hebrew program that each time we get an "almost correct", we don't progress on the progress bar and have to answer an extra question.) So, the glitch in the program requiring us to type in a vowel every time we get this question should be corrected.
I've found that if it looks like I'm marked wrong for a nikkud, that I've actually make another mistake also.
It's been changed a few weeks ago when the course was released it was counted as wrong, now we get "almost correct" as you mentioned. And of course they're only using Nikki's at all to differentiate words that are spelled the same but pronounced different depending on gender which is helpful but a pain when they treat it like a mistake.
Yes, they do, and it's pretty annoying as the Duolingo keyboard doesn't let you type nikkud as far as I can tell.
For 'the wine' I hear tayayin rather than et hayayin. Is the first how it typically gets pronounced then?
The correct way to pronounce it is "et hayayin". However, in spoken Hebrew the word "et" often merges with the following word - slightly similar to 'you are' and 'you're' in English.
That's what it sounds like to me too. I only knew the correct translation because I'd encountered this sentence before.
Im confused by the 'את' in the sentence. Something to do with the noun being passive? Would this be acceptable? "אני שותה היין"
No, it has to do with "wine" being the direct object. When the direct object is "definite" with a "the" "ה" in front of it, you use the definite direct object indicator/particle "את". So, "I drink the wine." will have "את" but "I drink wine." will not.