Refined taste versus Snobbery

The word refinement has always been associated with the upper class.  Having good taste is an element of good breeding, good manners, and good society. But true good taste is frequently and mistakenly misplaced and becomes snobbery.

Snobbery actually means low class: the word is a shortening of the Latin sine nobilitate meaning without nobility. The difference quite simply is that appreciating what is good shows taste. To please with ones company, to offer those who come in contact with you [be they friends or strangers] a level of quality in everything you do is good taste. However one of the key elements of class is that when someone presents you with something of  poor quality, be it conversation, culture, or food or drink: to refuse it because it is "below your standards" shows no class at all. 

Part of what makes someone refined is the ability to lead by example, but not so refined they cannot tolerate those less so. Frequently those who are refined will inspire those less refined, but it takes the refined man or woman showing the example.